Like most of America, we have been watching in horror reports of the bombings at the Boston Marathon.
So inexplicable and so inexcusable is this act of terror that words cannot sum up the sympathy appropriate to comfort those who lost loved ones, nor for those who suffered life-threatening and life-altering injuries - including amputation.
Because right now, there is no comfort - not in Boston and, unfortunately, not anywhere.
Our country, like our world, is not a safe place.
We are grateful that the people from our region who made the trek to the glorious annual spring tradition to participate in the world's most prestigious running event escaped injury.
They apparently could have easily been among the three dead, including an 8-year-old, and the more than 170 reported to be injured.
The FBI is handling the investigation, and President Obama has pledged full accountability to those responsible.
Witnesses described injuries resembling a war zone, and we can't imagine the shock and mass hysteria as families, some with their children, were at the finish line to cheer and celebrate one of the greatest athletic achievements possible, only to see their lives turned upside down in an instant.
The smoke from the bombs and the people scrambling in the streets - along with rampant reports of heroism and volunteers trying to assist those injured -was a painful reminder of 9/11.
We can only hope that the culprit(s) for this unthinkable tragedy are quickly brought to justice, and we pray for those directly affected.
There are days that will live in infamy in America.
Monday's Boston Marathon, one of the saddest in our country's history, is now one of them.
- Altoona Mirror