All of the attention paid to the Boston Marathon bombing and its aftermath has somewhat overshadowed another tragedy, the deadly explosion in the town of West, Texas. That’s unfortunate. The fertilizer plant blast, which killed 14 and injured more than 200, came about 20 minutes after a fire was reported at the plant. Ten of those killed were first responders, and two more were civilians who tried to fight the fire. A memorial service this week drew nearly 10,000 people. Texas Gov. Rick Perry noted that all of the firefighters were volunteers, “ordinary individuals blessed with extraordinary courage and a determination to do what they could to save lives.” President Obama spoke for the nation when he said, “This small town’s family is bigger now.” The nation stands with Boston. We stand with West, too.
On top of the catastrophic loss of lives and the flood of desperate refugees stemming from Syria’s civil war comes word that the fighting has devastated a mosque dating from the eighth century and that gunmen abducted the Syrian Orthodox and Greek Orthodox archbishops in the city of Aleppo. Tragedy piled upon tragedy.