Centennial Olympic Park was supposed to be the village green of the Games, a global common ground where everyone could congregate and share the bonds symbolized by five interwoven rings. Last week our minds needed such a venue. There was a lot of magic and malice we had to reconcile: the triumphs of will and spirit in Atlanta, the gruesome carnage and fear that fell from Flight 800 over Long Island.

And then, with a soul-shattering pop, Olympic Park was where the two emotions collided.

There is a grim economy to the way a terrorist works, born of a dark arithmetic:...

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