, Salem, MA


April 19, 2013

Benton: Boston blast felt in Arizona


“See something, say something,” is, sadly, the watchword of this era. But regardless of the outcome of the investigation into the marathon bombings (latest word as of this writing was that police had fragments of the bombs and the bags used to convey them, as well as potential video of a drop in front of the Lord & Taylor store), we must be mindful of allowing our fears to run rampant as occurred in Salem in 1692 when those accused of witchcraft were convicted and hanged on the basis of “spectral” evidence.

It was difficult, at a distance of 2,700 miles away, hearing of friends who were within a few hundred feet of the explosions. But the story was as big here in Arizona as it was back East, and the pain felt just as acutely.

And tomorrow we will, in the words of Arizona Republic columnist Laurie Roberts, “fight back — with sneakers” by proceeding with the run dedicated to former ASU and Cardinals football player Pat Tillman, who was killed fighting for his country in Afghanistan nine years ago. “To do otherwise would be unthinkable,” she noted.

This is, after all, the “land of the free and the home of the brave.” And the fact we are the former is only possible because there are many brave men and women among us, some of them fighting in Afghanistan and others of whom didn’t hesitate to plunge into the mayhem on Boylston Street on Monday afternoon to help the wounded.


Nelson Benton spent 40 years covering politics on the North Shore before retiring from The Salem News. Contact him at

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