But we're still exceptional.
It's like a black shroud encroaching on humanity and for the longest time there seemed to be an invisible dome that prevented the darkness from invading the good people of United States of America. The dome has been infiltrated ' or so it seems.
The truth is the U.S. has never been immune to terrorist attacks on American soil. The first World Trade bombing, Oklahoma City bombing, 9/11, Sandy Hook and now Boston ' these are not one-off occurrences. They are indicators of the changes our world is undergoing. More attacks will occur, be they perpetrated by homegrown lone wolves or foreign extremist groups. Every once in a while Americans are jarred into reality. The reality is that events like the tragedy that happened in Boston are committed every day in countries around the world.
A friend called me the evening of the bombings at the Boston Marathon. He's a typical American, and by "typical" I mean a person who couldn't care less about what happens in the world until it happens in their
world. He was baffled by what happened, as most people were, but he seemed surprised that it could happen at all. The truth is most plots never come to fruition due to the good men in women of law enforcement. In fact, I was able to find a list of at least 50 would-be attacks that were thwarted since 9/11. But we won't be able to stop them all ' obviously.
The attack in Boston saddens me and my heart goes out to the families of the lost souls and injured, but this does not surprise me. It has been a long time coming and it would serve all Americans well if we resigned ourselves to the fact that the world is changing and we are no longer "untouchable". That is not to say that we sit back and watch as history happens, no, we remain ever-vigilant to ensure that we prevent what we can from happening.
I love my country. I've traveled the world risking life and limb defending my country and would do it all over again if asked to do so, only with more fervor. I believe that America is as exceptional as we think we are, but not for the reasons that most Americans believe. I think Americans believe that we are exceptional because we are invincible, but obviously this is not the case. We are exceptional because we are resilient; because we are resourceful; because of how we react to adversity. In every video or photo of the Boston bombing you'll see people running toward the chaos ' because that's who we are; that's what we do.
The United States of America's demise will never come at the hands of one, or one-hundred, or one-thousand nefarious individuals. We are bigger than them and will always be. We will always defeat them, no matter their tactics. We will always overcome ' we don't know how to do anything else.