Boston Strong

The day is here. I’m finally back in Boston after a long semester abroad in Madrid. While I got several messages saying, “I’m so glad you’re not in Boston right now!” from concerned family and friends during the Boston Marathon bombing, I couldn’t help but think, ‘Man, I really kind of wish I was.’

To say that was one crazy week would be the understatement of the year. From 3,500 miles and 6 hours time difference away, it was crazy. It seems like I stayed glued to my computer and my WCVB live stream for days.

I remember sitting in my room in Madrid writing an essay thinking jealously of all the fun my friends were having in Boston. I gave up on the essay temporarily to open up Facebook and post something along the lines of, “Would give anything to be in Boston right now!!” And that’s when I saw it.

At least 20 posts on my home page with things like: “My thoughts and prayers are with Boston right now.” “I really can’t believe this, stay strong Boston.” “Saying a huge prayer for Boston right now.”

My heart dropped to my stomach.

I couldn’t imagine what had happened. As quick as my shaking fingers could manage I pulled up another tab and typed in CNN. Multiple bombs at Boston Marathon finish line.

Bombs? In Boston? On our Patriot’s Day? It had to be a mistake.

But then the pictures and videos started coming in. And then the confirmed deaths.

Helpless without a phone (not that it would have helped much that day anyway), I had to Facebook message all my friends to make sure they were okay. And I saw people all over my feed updating their statuses to let people know that they were okay. This kind of thing doesn’t happen in Boston.

But that’s when Boston’s true colors started to show.

Videos of people sprinting into essentially a war zone to help anyone they can. Police tearing down barriers that are made for the sole purpose of not being able to be torn down. People flocking to the Red Cross to donate blood or do whatever they can to help. That is Boston.

And since that moment I was glued to the TV. Whether it was watching the news or baseball games across the country playing “Sweet Caroline” or a much needed Bruins game and goosebump-inducing National Anthem. I couldn’t look away. And the 6 hour time difference started to take a toll. So when finally after a long few days I decide to pass out early and sleep in late, I wake up to headlines like Mayhem in the streets of Boston.

I was officially afraid to be away from my computer for too long. Afraid of what I’d find next time I turned it on. All of my friend’s were back in the dorm rooms on lockdown in a ghost city that I desperately missed more than ever.

We all know how the next 24 hours played out and normalcy finally started to return to the great city of Boston.

And now here we are. Over a month later. And the only evidence left of the events of that April day is this:

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The Tsarnaev brothers tried to punish the Americans, but they only brought this country, and especially this city, closer together and made us that much stronger.

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But it makes me angry as all hell that we had to lose 4 innocent, young lives in the process.

I know this is probably all old news for people who have been in Boston for the past month and a half, but I finally got down to see the bombing site and the memorial. It was a very emotional walk down Boylston St. It just makes me so angry.

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I was amazed by how big the memorial was! It just keeps getting bigger and bigger.

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So many great things there.

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My mom took this picture. If you look close you can see a glass cross with the marathon colors in the middle.

But probably one of the most meaningful pieces of the memorial, for me at least, was this sneaker someone had written on.

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Martin Richard was 8 years old and already smart enough to realize this when someone 3 times his age decided to plant a bomb at his feet. It disgusts me. But we can’t keep being angry. We have to move forward.

Eventually this memorial will have to be taken down. I don’t know who’s decision that is, but I do not envy them at all. We will never forget those 4 lost lives and hundreds of victims whose lives were changed forever. But Boston is strong and eventually it’s going to be time to start moving forward.

I am so excited for the One Run on Saturday, May 25th where runners will finally have the chance to finish that last mile of the marathon. You can bet I’ll be there screaming and cheering everyone on. They deserve it.

But for now I’m just thrilled to finally back in my city. And happy to see that the evidence truly is everywhere…we are Boston Strong.

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