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Another View: Don’t let fear change us

By: Terry Morgan, guest columnist
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Call to readers:

Has fear changed you? Tell us why or why not.
Please share your thoughts by mail, fax, or online.

We are grieved as a nation by the death and injuries caused by the senseless bombing at the Boston Marathon on Monday.  As of the writing of this article, no group or person has stood up to take responsibility for this cowardly act of terrorism. The FBI and the Justice Department do have person’s of interest from pictures and videos taken during the attack.
The goal of terrorism has always been to scare and “terrorize” as many people as possible. Their aim is to frighten us enough that we eventually submit to their will politically, socially, or religiously. Our nation is on edge as we recall other terrorist attacks. We can recall other homicide attacks that took American lives and changed our way of life.
The Boston Marathon is the oldest annual marathon. It was established in 1897. There are on average 500,000 spectators and 20,000 participants every year. It is held on Patriots Day every year, a fact that was probably not overlooked by the bomber.
It is normal for us to feel vulnerable after a terrorist attack on our nation. We may feel worried about another attack.
Many people express anger over the attacks happening. Some people are sad, and may cry. Many people feel like they are on a roller coaster of different emotions as the bombing attack is played over and over on the news.
Those that were closest to the event may suffer nightmares and flashbacks for a while. This was a very traumatic event and these kinds of reactions are all normal.
We need to remember that we are no more vulnerable today than before this terrorist attack. We need to remember we have an incredible group of men and women who are dedicated to keeping us safe.
Our first responders, which include our law enforcement and fire personnel, are some of the best in the world. Our military and first responders are committed and passionate about defending our freedoms, and stopping those who would attack us. They are very good at intervening and preventing acts of terrorism.
Some people have asked how to help their kids. First of all tell your children the truth about the bombing.
If we don’t tell kids the truth, they will imagine something far worse than what really happened.
They don’t need to know all the gory details. Just give them the facts about what happened. We can assure them that it will probably never happen to them.
Children will look to us for guidance, and will often mirror our reactions. If we want our children to be calm, then we need to be calm. We need to steer our kids to other activities away from the news.
Our children have a deep felt need to be safe. Let them know that there are police officers, soldiers, and fire fighters whose job is to make sure we are all safe.
Reassure them, that your job as a parent or teacher is also to look after them, and make sure nothing bad happens to them.
We as adults need to be vigilant and be aware of our surroundings. That has not been changed by this event. However, we must not allow such events to change us or to cause us such fear that we give up our freedoms.
Remember, In God We Trust.
Terry Morgan is an ordained minister with over 30 years of experience. He has spent 17 years as a law enforcement chaplain. He is the Senior Chaplain/Executive Director of Gold Country Chaplaincy and Press4hope.