America is a nation of immigrants.
In the 1600's, millions escaped religious, political and economic strife and came to America. Often they suffered unspeakable hardships in this rugged, harsh land.
Along with others from many different countries, my Irish ancestors came to the anthracite coal fields of northeastern Pennsylvania in order to escape the devastating Irish potato famine in the 1860's. They worked long hours for little pay, and labored under dangerous working conditions.
Today, the United States of America still stands as a beacon of hope and opportunity for oppressed individuals across the globe. It remains, in the words of Ronald Reagan, "That shining city on a hill."
In 2002, the family of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev came to America from Kyrgyzstan.. His father applied for asylum, citing persecution due to his ties to Chechnya. They were granted asylum, received welfare benefits, and his parents obtained jobs in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Upon graduation from high school, Dzhokhar Tsasnaev received a $2500 scholarship from the City of Cambridge. He enrolled at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. His brother, Tamerlan, became a boxer.
Again, America opened its arms, providing an oppressed family access to the American Dream.
On April 15, 2013, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his now deceased brother Tamerlan (Dzhokhar ran him over with his vehicle while escaping from the police) constructed two deadly pressure cooker bombs, methodically placing them in the jam-packed crowd of spectators on Boylston Street, near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. They detonated the horrible devices, killing three people and injuring nearly 300 more. Many of those individuals will be maimed for life. Later, he and his brother killed MIT police officer Sean Collier in cold blood.
When captured, Tsarnaev told the FBI that he and his brother were angry about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and how Americans killed Muslims there.
A handwritten note, scrawled by Tsarnaev as he cowered, bloody, inside a boat, as he hid from the police and the FBI, read, "The Boston bombings were in retribution for the U.S. crimes in places like Iraq and Afghanistan and the victims of the Boston bombing were collateral damage, in the same way innocent victims had been collateral damage in U.S. wars around the world."
The savage, uncivilized, wild animal-like behavior of these two disgusting individuals, who came to this country in order to escape savage, wild animal-like behavior in their own country, is astounding.
In their country, in their world, their crime would have been met with swift, ruthless justice. They would have been thrust into the bowels of a filthy prison, and IF they survived, they may have been publicly executed, possibly beheaded, after a sham of a trial.
But this is America.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was arrested, read his rights, received a high-powered attorney to defend him, and, yesterday, was convicted by a jury of his peers, on ALL 30 counts.
Beginning on Monday, a week before the world's greatest footrace, the Boston Marathon, the jury will decide whether he should be executed or spend the rest of his days in prison.
The American dream wasted.
Some solace for his many victims, whose lives will never be the same.
Americans are strong, resilient, and just.
Justice has been served and we are all Boston Strong.