By John Kern
As I watched the Blue Ridge Marathon April 20, five days after the Boston Marathon — sadly, also the Boston massacre — I talked with a spectator, the father of a daughter and son-in-law in the race. He said, you probably don’t agree with me, but I hope that younger brother (Dzhokhar Tsarnaev) dies, because his medical care, trial and appeals would be a waste of money. I anwsered, you’re right, I don’t agree with you.
As a member of the Society of Friends, Quakers, I don’t believe in the death penalty, I don’t believe in war and, of course, I don’t support random killing of civilians. As a historian, I Googled Chechnya, the birthplace of the Tsarnaevs, and learned of that country’s millennium of devastation: invasion by the Mongols, by the Russian Cossacks, by the Ottoman Empire, by Czarist Russia, by Communist Russia, by the Russian Army during World War II, and by two Chechnyan wars during the 1990s after the fall of Soviet Russia.
Kern lives in Roanoke.