In firing shots into a New Orleans parade on Mother’s Day, gunmen attacked the city’s soul. There is no more abiding tradition in the Crescent City than a parade.

Those who sent bullets into a second-line parade in the city’s 7th Ward assaulted not only those who were directly injured and terrorized by this brutal act of violence, but the social fabric of a great American city.

Our first concern, of course, rests with the 19 victims who were injured by the shootings. We hope that the suspects in these shootings are apprehended quickly and aggressively prosecuted.

Happening mere weeks after the bombings at the Boston Marathon, the Mother’s Day shootings in New Orleans were yet another sad occasion to reflect on the degree to which violence is bloodying the public square of America’s national life.

Criminals are testing our resolve, but we know that they will not break it.