Good will always triumph over evil
The people of Northern Ireland know better than probably anyone else in the world how the citizens of Boston are feeling today after the twin bomb blasts which killed three people and injured more than 170.
For they too have lived through such terror, magnified many times, during the three decades of the Troubles. Boston is also a city with strong connections to the province and a number of people from here were competing in the marathon which was targeted by yet unknown bombers.
The stories related in this newspaper today and in other media outlets from Northern Ireland people caught up in the bombing are eerily reminiscent of a time we hope has passed forever in this part of the world. They speak of the fear, the hours of waiting before finding out that loved ones were safe and the concern of relatives trying to contact them. They also speak of the bravery and the compassion of the emergency services, and just ordinary bystanders, who went to the aid of the injured, virtues which we witnessed countless times during similar atrocities.
Boston was yet another example of the polar extremes of human behaviour; the callous disregard for human life by those responsible for planting the bombs and the selflessness of the competitors who kept on running to the nearest medical centres to donate blood to help treat the injured.
And it is those reactions which should give Bostonians hope today.
While they cannot understand why anyone would target their city on what is one of the major public holidays of the year, they will come to realise that the compassion, the heroism and the bonds created among citizens and strangers alike in the immediate aftermath of the explosions will always overcome the evil, the hatred and the deviousness which characterises those responsible.
That is the hope born of experience that Northern Ireland can send across the Atlantic to a city still reeling from a senseless act of terror.