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The leading causes of death in the United States are heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases and stroke. Accidents rank fifth on the list.
Those accidents, however, are deaths caused by unintentional injuries, not by a terrorist incident such as the one that happened Monday, April 15, in Boston.
The three most common types of accidents that result in death are car wrecks, falls and unintentional poisonings.
As we walk through life on a daily basis, we, of course, know an accident can happen at any time.
But we don’t let that stop us from leading an active and productive life.
So, too, we must not let acts of terrorism cause us to change our daily routines.
We did not stop flying after the events of 9/11. We instituted safety procedures to allow us to keep traveling while lowering the risk of bombs being placed on aircraft.
One cannot enter a courthouse today without first going through a metal detector. Bags are routinely searched at sporting events. Armed security guards, whether openly seen or not, are on duty at many businesses.
Schools and factories have a single point of entry for visitors, who must be “buzzed in” before entering. At many places, the building is only reached after first passing through a security gate.
Many homes now have electronic surveillance systems. Many vehicles now have alarms. Many laptop and phone owners enter a security code before operating them.
Because of security concerns, we are much less often in private these days. A recent study found the average person is in view of a camera about 75 times a day. In England, that number jumps to 300.
We live in a different world, but we should not have to live in a world where terrorists — foreign or domestic — should interrupt our way of life.
What happened in Boston will not cause cities to discontinue hosting marathons. It may, however, force cities to institute new safety procedures for those races.
The senseless loss of life and limb in Boston did not mean Thunder Over Louisville was canceled last Saturday night or that the Kentucky Derby won’t run Saturday.
People will still congregate for events, and, as hard as we try, we will never stop terrorists intent on inflicting pain and suffering.
We will be more vigilant, perhaps more aware of our surroundings (but probably not) and maybe less trusting (but probably not).
Freedom is the cornerstone of the American spirit. Terrorists may kill and they may maim, but they will never win.
We won’t let them.
Editor’s note: This editorial is reprinted with permission from the Kentucky Press News Service.