This is the picture I took 2 years ago today on my way to the marathon finish line to cheer on the runners in my first year living in Boston. I really can’t think of any picture more worthy of explaining exactly how I feel right now.
I love Patriot’s Day! It is one of the best celebrations in Boston, maybe second only to the Fourth of July. It’s a day to celebrate our freedom, the history of Boston, resilience, and unity in the world as thousands of people from all over the planet join together to run 26.2 miles together. It’s a day of grand celebration and fun and happiness. And now it will never be the same.
Let’s think about what that means for a minute.
These people came to our city and they tried to break us on our Patriot’s Day.
I am happy to say, though, they failed.
These people or this person brought out the best in Boston. In the midst of tragedy, Boston’s true patriots and true heroes came out in numbers to help those in need. Dozens of people ran toward these explosions, even after another one went off, not knowing when or where another one might occur.
And it doesn’t stop there.
There were large numbers of people offering complete strangers their homes and their food until they can get back on their feet.
And when have you ever heard of the Red Cross asking people to stop donating blood because they have plenty of supplies?
This is Boston. This is what will define that day. This is what will define Patriot’s Day.
This is where I stood 2 years ago, mere feet away from where the second bomb went off, cheering on people from all nations whose hard-work and resiliency I couldn’t even begin to imagine and celebrating one of Boston’s finest days. And that is exactly where I will stand on the third Monday of April for years and years to come.
I even hope to be able to be the person who runs by that last stretch of the course, completing 26.2 miles someday.
These attacks will not define us and will not define this day.
It will be defined by the people who ran into a terrorist attack without thinking twice to help those who had been injured.
It will be defined by the people who offered up their homes, showers and food to complete strangers.
It will be defined by the people who ran to the local Red Cross to give blood and help in any way they could.
It will be defined by a city and country coming together to show their support.
I have never missed my city more than I do right now. My thoughts and condolences go out to all of those who have lost a friend or family member. To all those who are injured, I wish you the best and a quick recovery.
My heart is broken. I want to cry. I want to scream. I am still in shock that something like this could possibly happen in my safe, little city of Boston.
But I am also filled with pride. For my country. But above all, for Boston.