Lynette K.G. Sheffield

So, we don't know your name. Or your cause. Or your raison d'etre. Yet.

But, we know your type. We know your work. Whether it be a federal building in Oklahoma City, the Twin Towers in New York, movie theaters, shopping centers, or schools of all types: we've seen your work.

The reasons given may be a warped sense of religion, even patriotism, or maybe daddy or mommy issues. Or maybe you just like to see blood. It doesn't matter. The use of force to try to get your way is the epitome of cowardice and impotence.

You will not win.

Your kind struck again in Boston. Yeah, gotta save the world from all those evil people watching a marathon. You really made your point there. But in the singular moment after the explosions, you lost. Did you see chaos? Confusion? Panic? Anarchy? Did the people under attack first ask, “Where can I hide?” Or was it, “How can I help?”

Without a second thought to personal safety, thousands rushed in to help the few you struck down. You didn't change a thing. You thought that a couple of bombs, or guns, or threats, or rental trucks full of fertilizer would send the rest of us into hiding, fearing each other and the outside world, too afraid to move or act. It doesn't work that way.

There is something that separates you and your kind from the rest of us. We outnumber you, but, more importantly, we are stronger than you are.

Heroism is stronger than cowardice. Action is stronger than immobility. Courage is stronger than fear. Love is stronger than hate and yes, peace is stronger than war. You will not win. You cannot win.

Decency and nerve will always defeat terror. Those people in Boston had no idea if there were more bombs or others of your kind lying in wait. It didn't matter. Throwing aside barriers and debris, they rushed in and saved countless would-be victims from becoming your statistics. They overwhelmed the hospitals with offers of blood donations. They opened their homes to those who had no place to go. This is who we are. Not like you. You and your kind are just gnats on pond scum. You are without worth or significance and do not matter.

We still go to our places of work and business. We still send our children to school. We still shop and go to movies and gather in large numbers because we refuse to allow you and others like you, to change our lives. I can guarantee you; next year's Boston Marathon will be the biggest yet. People will pour into the area to run or watch, but most of all, to support the idea that we will not submit to the will of terrorists.

The Boston Marathon is known for its global participation and significance. We, the people of the United States of America, will continue to work on perfecting our union but, more than that, we the people of the world will always defeat those who would try to hurt and divide us.

We run toward danger, not away, because it is more important to help each other than to save ourselves. We are a defiant people. We win. You lose.