Jackie Gingrich Cushman

When 9/11 occurred 12 years ago, my second child had just been born. As I rocked him at night at my home in Atlanta, Ga., planes from nearby Dobbins Air Reserve Base flew over our house, and I worried and wondered about the world in which he would grow up.

Evil is the only word that aptly describes a person (or persons) who would deliberately set off a bomb to maim people at the end of the Boston Marathon. Whatever the overall goal may have been, we can be certain that at least part of it was to instill terror.

Terror of walking through cities, terror of being out in public, terror of being vulnerable, terror of being at the wrong place at the wrong time by chance. Terror of heinous acts of evil that are unexpected, unanticipated and uncontrollable.

What we do know is that vigilance, intelligence and communication have helped thwart others who have intended to commit acts of terrorism.

We also know that we are not defined by the actions of terrorists, but rather are defined by our own actions, like those who acted heroically on Monday: heroes who ran toward the blast, toward the wounded, rather than away. Heroes who saved the lives of the innocent and unsuspecting, while others had the goal of maiming and killing.

What kind of world do we live in? It's a world filled with goodness and light, but with evil still lurking in the darkness and edges.

In the end, goodness triumphs over evil, we just have to help make it so.

Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Jackie Gingrich Cushman is a speaker, syndicated columnist, socialpreneur, and author of "The Essential American: 25 Documents and Speeches Every American Should Own," and co-author of “The 5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours”.