This was a head-spinner of a week. Every gun bill that went up for a vote in the Senate was defeated. A fertilizer factory blew up in Texas. Letters to the president and members of Congress were found to contain poisonous ricin powder. A husband-and-wife team was arrested for allegedly killing two prosecutors. And that was just on Wednesday. Yet, the news all week has centered around the horrific bombing of the Boston Marathon. From the time the two pressure-cooker bombs exploded seconds apart near the finish line on Monday, the nation has been gripped by a swirl of anger and fear. By this morning that fear was justified. We awoke to news of a robbery, a carjacking, a murder, a firefight and to scenes of a major American city on lockdown.

The photos of two suspects made public by the FBI yesterday gave us a modicum of relief. We at least have faces to pin to that fear and anger. But it was the photo of one of the victims that defined the week and the time we live in. Martin Richard was just 8 years old. He was with his family watching the runners come in when one of the bombs cut him down and seriously injured his mother and sister. We got to know the essence of that “bright, energetic young boy” by his simple message after a lesson on the shooting of Trayvon Martin. “No more hurting people. Peace.” How we all wish it were that simple.

Martin Richard (Neighborhood House Charter School/EPA)

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