BOSTON (CBS) – We knew this would happen someday, that no matter what precautions we took, our freedom to mingle and our insistence on enjoying civic life would one day leave us vulnerable to an attack by vicious, ignorant, hate-filled criminals.

And if you were around here in September of 2001, somewhere in the back of your mind you probably knew it might well happen here, in a city that in so many ways manifests the best aspects of American civilization.

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Listen to Jon’s commentary: 

And so it comes as more of a shock than a surprise that it did happen here, that evil swine scattered bombs around crowded areas in what will prove to be an utterly failed effort to terrorize us.

I know that it failed because I’ve already seen the evidence.

Down on the Boston Common Monday, I saw no signs of panic in the crowds walking away from the crime scene, only contained anger, and determination to both help those who needed it and defy the perpetrators of this atrocity.

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So, how exactly do we go about doing that?

First, by doing what we’ve already done – rallying around one another and modeling the behavior that is the opposite of whoever did this.

Secondly, by learning from this unwanted lesson in what daily life is like for Iraqis, Pakistanis and Israelis, to name a few.

And finally, here’s a concrete step we can take – we can make a special point of patronizing the restaurants and stores in the crime scene area bounded by Clarendon Street, Huntington Ave., Dalton Street and Newbury Street.

They’ll be losing a lot of business over the next couple of days while the area is cordoned off. Let’s make sure none of them are too badly hurt by this foul, failed attempt to break us.

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You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

Jon Keller