Sports are a funny thing. They bring people together in inexplicable ways. As a New Yorker living in Boston I can attest to the immediate friendship formed, if even just for a few seconds, when I pass a fellow NY Giants or Syracuse Orange fan. Or the head nod and smile when someone notices I’m wearing the same Bruins shirt as them in the Charlotte airport. Sports turn complete strangers into your best friends.
Sports bring people together, especially in a city as passionate about their teams as Boston. But on April 15, 2013 the Tsarnaev brothers tried to use Boston’s most historic sporting event to tear the city apart.
But these young men failed to realize just how strong Boston was. They chose to attack a city that cannot be torn apart. Weakened? Yes. Wounded? Yes. Afraid, confused, angry and sad? Absolutely. But strong enough to overcome this together.
They chose the wrong event, the wrong day and the wrong city to mess with. It’s pretty hard to break the spirit of thousands of people who have just run 26.2 miles. It’s pretty hard to come into our city on our Patriot’s Day and get away with attacking our people. Our runners, fans, residents, law enforcement officials. Our hard workers from Medford. Our grad students from China. Our 8-year-old children. Our campus police officers. No. We will shut down the entire city until we hunt you down.
I can’t believe it’s been a year since that scary, confusing, devastating, sleepless week. A year of healing and growing and becoming stronger than ever. There’s still a long way to go for the many people affected by the attack and its aftermath, but every year from here on out we will remember that day and become just a little but stronger. We will watch the clock change to 2:49 P.M. on April 15th and we’ll remember that moment that changed the best sporting event in Boston forever.
Sports will continue to bring the people of this city together. Thousands of people will continue to take to the streets of Boston the third Monday of April to celebrate a resiliency that few can fathom. A resiliency that pushed you through 26.2 miles. A resiliency that leads you to run towards an explosion to save those who may be hurt. A resiliency that keeps you going after losing one or both of your legs. We will keep getting stronger. And the city of Boston will keep on running.