Three weeks after the Marathon bombing — with our grief still raw from the highly-personal assault on our community— the debate now rages over what to do with the remains of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, suspected “Bomber #1.” In our view, the United States government should transport his remains to Russia — an arrangement that his mother has requested.
There is nothing xenophobic or knee-jerk about this position. Cemeteries are sacred ground for most people. It should come as no surprise that no one in this state wants this now-infamous terrorist to lie among our relatives and friends. And no one wants the spectacle of his resting place becoming a shrine or memorial of any kind.
In our national history, there are few precedents for such a decision. Presidential assassins have mainly been homegrown villains. The Lincoln conspirators were interred immediately after their executions in the federal fortress where they met the gallows. They joined John Wilkes Booth, the Lincoln gunman, who was buried ignominiously in his cell. Similarly, the anarchist killer of President William McKinley was quickly interred in a prison yard after his electrocution in 1901. John Kennedy’s assassin, Oswald, was buried in a cemetery in Fort Worth, Texas. Timothy McVeigh, the worst domestic terrorist in US history, was cremated following his execution in 2001. But that was McVeigh’s request— and will not be an option in this instance due to Tsarnaev’s religious background.
Americans are a good and decent people and are respectful, even in our grief, of the dead. The mere fact that this debate is even happening shows that quality. But the people of our city and region have had enough. It would be best for the various factions within the Tsarnaev family to resolve to bring this individual back to his country of origin for burial.
– Bill Forry
Sunday is the Day to Keep Walking
It’s been 17 years now since Tina Chery first led a small band of homicide survivors through the streets of Dorchester. On Sunday, Tina and a much larger group will once again strap on their sneakers and hit the pavement for a 3.6 mile- stroll through our community in the name of those lost to homicides in and around our city.
Dorchester has long embraced this cause, in part because we have been desperate to find a way to bring comfort to our neighbors caught in the never-ending aftermath of personal grief. It has also been cathartic for us as a community to stand together symbolically against the cowardly forces in our midst who either perpetrate acts of violence against our neighbors – or else turn away and pretend they don’t know who did it.
We are grateful to Tina and the Peace Institute for extending a steady, willing, and compassionate hand to families impacted by violence in our community. We will see you out there this Sunday at Town Field for the Mothers Walk for Peace.