The Boston Marathon has now become one of those moments.
A marathon is a tremendous athletic event. It takes physical and mental perseverance unlike anything else. Big cities all over the world hold their own marathons.
But no place does it like Boston.
That third Monday in April, Boston lets its hair down-unless your running, that is. With everywhere in Suffolk County shut down for a government holiday people spend their days with friends and family, checking out a day game at Fenway, or lining Boylston St to watch the runners crossing the finish line.
When you live near or in Boston, there’s a good chance you’ve been down at the finish line. It’s a huge party. The bars of Boylston are packed. Thousands of people are cheering. To put it simply-it’s just an awesome time.
This is what makes what happened on April 15th, 2013 so chilling, so heartbreaking, and so personal.
Everyone has their story of where they were when the bombs went off. You knew someone who was there, or you, yourself, were there. The frantic phone calls, the pit in your stomach, the hairs sticking up on your back.
Everyone’s story is unique, but one common thought ran through everyone’s mind: How dare they do this to our city.
When you’re from this area, Boston is your home. The fact that someone attacked our home made everyone sick. But it also made us want to stand up and be strong.
What has happened in the last year has been nothing short of extraordinary. Starting with the days after the event and the work done from first responders and the medical staffs in Boston. The lives they saved considering the injuries they suffered still shocks me. The fact they caught these terrorists with 100 hours of the bombing still shocks me. We wouldn’t be here without the strength, courage, and sacrifice of those brave men and women-most of whom will go their whole lives without being personally thanked.
We are lucky enough to have sports as an escape, and, boy, did our teams show up. From David Ortiz saying what was on everyone’s mind, to Gregory Campbell breaking his leg and still fighting to bring the Cup back to our city until he couldn’t stand any longer, we saw perseverance in our teams. So many Boston athletes stood up to put a smile on our faces when all we wanted to do was cry.
But what really has been extraordinary has been the character of our people. Instead of living in fear, we live our lives harder and stronger than ever before. We care about each other more. We thank the thankless more. People who have never run were inspired to run. Seasoned marathoners were pushed to run even harder. Those terrorists failed because of the people in this area only became more united.
So as we reflect on the one-year anniversary, and think about where we were that day, remember how this area has come out of the other side of this tragedy better than before. Even though we are from Lynn, we are all still Boston Strong.