Remember Boston victims and heroes, not perpetrators

Following the tragedies that unfolded in Boston last week, the public wants to find out everything they can about the suspects — their religious affiliations, motives and backgrounds — to explain the atrocious crimes.

It’s human nature to want to know how anybody could do something so terrible to innocent people.

As the manhunt for one of the two suspects persisted, the public took to Facebook and Twitter to share their thoughts. People wanted to know more about the suspects’ personal lives, their childhoods, what angered them so much and even about the wife of the second suspect that was killed. They wanted to know anything that would bring about closure — and rightfully so.

However, this shouldn’t be the public’s main focus. It’s up to the investigators to find out why these crimes were committed. The suspect’s trial, his motives and his behaviors aren’t what the public needs to know. What it needs to know about is the four who died, and the countless who have helped since.

Instead of spending time wondering who the suspects were, we should shift our focus toward those who can be overshadowed by our curiosity with the perpetrators — those who lost their lives. Those who were injured. Those who, instead of running in a different direction, ran toward danger to help the injured. Those who stayed inside during the manhunt to make it easier for law enforcement to find the surviving suspect who was on the loose Friday.

Instead of continuing to focus on the perpetrators with anger and curiosity, let’s remember the people of Boston. Let’s immortalize the good rather than perpetuate the evil.

Let’s preserve the memory of eight-year-old Martin Richard, who was watching the marathon with his family and cheering on family friends. Let’s remember 29-year-old Krystle Campbell, who was at the finish line cheering on a friend. Let’s think of Lu Lingzi, a 23-year-old Boston University graduate student who was with her friends watching the marathon. Let’s not forget Sean Collier, a 26-year-old Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus police officer who was on patrol three days after the marathon.

We need to say thank you to the heroes that went out of their way to help those who were injured in the bombing, both first responders and even those who were just spectators. One story that has emerged is that of Carlos Arredondo: Instead of running in the other direction, he ran back into the area that had been bombed and helped to rescue a man who lost his legs in the explosion. He’s just one of many people who pushed their own safety aside to save the lives of countless others.

We should praise those in Boston who went on voluntary lockdown so that law enforcement could focus all of its attention on the manhunt. And then there’s David Henneberry, a Watertown resident who spotted the surviving suspect in a boat in his backyard. Instead of yelling and trying to be a hero, he tipped off police, which eventually led to the capture of the suspect.

There are the officers, FBI agents, SWAT teams and countless others who worked to find the suspect before he could harm another innocent person.

Rather than wasting our thoughts on the perpetrators, we should remember the names and faces of those who deserve to have our attention.