warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Tsarnaevs Captured And Killed: Not Something To Celebrate

Martha Greenburg |
April 20, 2013 | 7:10 p.m. PDT


Yesterday evening, my news feed on Facebook was filled with status after status about the capture of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.

Justice will not be easily brought to the tragedy of the Boston Marathon bombing. (Aaron Tang, Wikimedia Commons)
Justice will not be easily brought to the tragedy of the Boston Marathon bombing. (Aaron Tang, Wikimedia Commons)
“We got him,” and “Finally. Justice,” were only some of the many excited statements used by my peers to express their relief. As I continued to read, I received a text message from a friend going to school in the Boston area. She was at what looked like a huge party: people had filled the streets to celebrate the death of Tamerlan Tsarnaev and the capture of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

To me, this hardly seems like something worth celebrating. I am certainly glad that these men have been caught and will no longer be able to harm anyone else. However, I am in no way able to ‘commend’ anyone on anything having to do with the tragedy because I am not proud of any part of it. I am not proud that three innocent people were killed. I am not proud that we live in a country where Americans regularly harm other Americans. I am not proud that my peers and fellow citizens view the capture and death of these suspects as a solution, because it is far from it.

Students and community members were drunk, high and joyful as they ran through the streets together chanting things like “Boston” and “USA!” I was confused to hear the USA chanting. Are we now cheering for the people in our country who bombed a city and then cheering for other people in our country for capturing them?

These men, these awful criminals, were Americans! Although we may not be proud to call these men our own, they are. Instead of cheering, it is time to address the fact that our citizens do awful things. Their connections to Russia or Islamic religious identities do not make them separate, and they are just as much a part of this country as anyone else. We cannot claim that all Americans are perfect, and desperately search for an outside source to put the blame on. While it was many brave Americans who stood together in this horrible event, it was also Americans who caused it.

Shortly after the Boston Police Department captured Dzhokhar, they tweeted, “CAPTURED!!! The hunt is over. The search is done. The terror is over. And justice has won. Suspect in custody.” Justice has not won; there is no way to bring full justice to the people who lost their children and friends, no way to make up for those stricken by injuries altering their lives. Justice will be served when, as a country, we can work together to prevent these kinds of tragedies. Coming together to rage once an individual has been stopped, is anything but productive.

Let us fill the streets and celebrate when our Senate approves a bill demanding background checks for gun users. Let us clink our drinks in cheers when jails are no longer filled with mentally unstable patients who commit acts of violence. Let us be happy when our tax dollars are going towards the increase in capacity of our mental institutions. Once these things are achieved, I will join my peers and post multiple statuses expressing my pride as I chant “USA” through the streets of my city.


Reach Contributor Martha Greenburg here; follow her here.



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.