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Thursday, Apr 26, 2018
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Otto: Bombing reminds us that freedom comes with high price

As awful and bloody as Monday's Boston bombing was, it reminded us that — like roaches — those who place no value on innocent lives are among us.
This time it was the Boston Marathon. You have to wonder why the terrorists didn't go for the Patriots  Day game earlier that day at Fenway Park between the Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays.
Like most of you in our plugged-in world, I was in front of the TV seconds after the two bombs went off near the finish line. Over the next couple of hours the confusion from speculating TV hosts would be about as great as the chaotic scenes repeated over and over on the screen.
You might think, after the Oklahoma bombing and 9/11, that we would have learned to keep speculation to a minimum, but that never happened.
Flipping around the channels I heard that there were two, then three explosions.
There was a Middle Eastern man being held for questioning. Police had first one, then two unexploded bombs. A bomb had gone off in a hotel. Another bomb had exploded in a library. The rumors swirled all afternoon.
And that was just on the networks.
I moved over to social media, where I became convinced this was all part of an organized plot, probably put together by the president, the vice president or maybe Elvis.
If there was any good news in all of this, it was that the bombings happened within shouting distance of some of the finest medical facilities in the world. There were plenty of first responders on hand and a sophisticated, thought-out medical and security response went into action.
There was even the story of runners continuing to run to the hospital to give blood. I don't know if that was confirmed, but I'd like to believe it happened.
It's not going to get any easier in our high-tech world, where you can set off bombs from a cellphone miles away or guide drones with high explosives from thousands of miles away. These were cruel bombs, loaded with materials designed to maim and kill.
It's not the kind of Boston where the poet can write about the light in the old North Church being a warning beacon.
In today's world, there may not be a warning and the cost can be devastating. Unfortunately, what happened Monday was not a warning as much as a reminder of the cost we still pay for what we fought for on those same streets almost 250 years ago.
Have to mention that the annual Wild Bill Minahan fundraiser will be at the Columbia Restaurant on Friday. The lunch will begin at 11:30 a.m.
The Gonzmarts, including Casey and his wife, Heidi, who ran in Boston, and brother Richard will again donate a great buffet lunch.
Minahan, the legendary former high school coach and his wife, Martha, have been holding these affairs for years to support Lifelink organ donations. I think Minahan's replacement kidney is older than most of you.
Every dime raised goes to Lifelink.
You can still make reservations by calling Heidi Grogan at (813) 253-2650.
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