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Like 9/11, we will remember where we were when the Boston Marathon was bombed on Patriot’s Day.

To us, in this land of the free, such an attack is beyond understanding. All we can say is why.

But it’s likely that we know why. We were attacked by a person or persons who hate us for what we are or what they think we are. Home-grown or foreign, it makes little difference. The damage is the same. There is nothing we can do to keep ourselves completely safe from them.

As in war, the damage of such an attack is paid inequitably. For many families, a terrible price has been wrought. While for the rest, we can go home, thankful that this time, we weren’t in the line of fire.

So how do we cope?

Along with the horror of the day, news reports have cited a great many incidents of kindness, compassion, generosity. When the bombs exploded, those not hurt turned to strangers who were. Emergency responders rushed to the scene, medical students ran to hospitals. The scene was difficult but it deterred no one.

We’re reminded of the following lines spoken in a favorite movie, “Independence Day.” As the President of the United States speaks, the world is facing possible annihilation by alien beings, not on Patriot’s Day, but on the 4th of July.

“We can’t be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. We’re fighting for our right to live…

“And should we win the day, the 4th of July will … be known as … the day when the world declared in one voice:

“We will not go quietly into the night!

“We will not vanish without a fight!

“We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive!”

Terrorists may attack us. They will not break us.