Where do we put Tamerlan Tsarnaev?

Worcester is some 40 miles from Boston, but it was no means unaffected by the Marathon bombing.  Worcester shares a close connection with Boston as many in the Worcester area work in Boston and we all know the city well.  The Boston Marathon bombing was not simply a local tragedy; it was a crime committed against our families, our neighbors, our friends.

 

National media reports have recently focused on protests outside the Worcester funeral home where Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s body waits for burial. But local news reporting has been far more nuanced, surveying the range of ways we as a community are working through our own feelings about the bombing and its perpetrators, all the while trying to find hope within and through our vulnerability and anger.

 

But the issue remains.  What do we do with Tamerlan Tsarnaev?

 

“I do understand no one wants to associate their names with such evil events.”

 

So said Ruslan Tsarni, who came here to Worcester to perform the burial rites for his nephew.  Death has always raised the specter of contagion—it’s one reason why we have cemeteries.  But the question regarding Tamerlan Tsarnaev moves us beyond this.  Intellectually, we have tried to find a place for him and his actions, speculating in alternatively careful and uneven ways about the roles he played in life: son, brother, husband, father, Chechen, Muslim, boxer, terrorist.  Now the uncomfortable question confronts us immediately:  Where do we put him?

 

On the other hand a Worcester community activist plans to start a campaign to raise money to send the body of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev (TAM’-ehr-luhn tsahr-NEYE’-ehv) to Russia for burial.

 

Cambridge, where the Tsarnaev family lived, says it does not want the body.

William Breault tells The Telegram & Gazette he will announce the fund on Monday outside the Graham Putnam & Mahoney Funeral Parlors.