I always look forward to Marathon Monday. When I was a kid, I loved going with my family to the firehouse on Comm Ave and watching the runners go by. Like almost everyone who lives around here, I think it’s one the best days of the year, and I can’t imagine spring without the Boston Marathon.
What I love about Marathon Monday is the mob-like spirit that runs rampant. I’m not a terribly emotional person, but put me in a crowd and that changes. I always catch the feel of the crowd—I lose my voice encouraging runners to keep going and weep as my friends pass by Mile 21. And this year, I grieved with the BC community and the rest of the world as I watched the news of the bombings unfold.
My emotions today are complex. I ache for those whose lives were lost or broken at the finish line, and for those runners who trained so hard only to have their finish-line dreams crushed. At the same time, I’m incredibly grateful that my friends and their families returned home safely, and I’m comforted by the acts of kindness that I have seen.
I’ve said before that BC can lure you into a false sense of security, and it’s easy to believe that bad things don’t happen here. I can’t comprehend why this happened, and I still think I’ll wake up tomorrow in a world where bombs don’t go off in my home city on the most special day of the year. But that won’t happen, and that scares me.
When it comes down to it, Patriots’ Day is a celebration of the human spirit. We honor the men who took to the battlefield in defense of their freedom in 1775 as well as the present-day runners who take on the marathon’s challenge. Marathon Monday brings out the best in us here at BC. We are a community full of enthusiastic and loving people, and that manifests itself in the way we celebrate the marathon every year.
The events at the finish line were disheartening and scary, but the community’s response is a testament to this human spirit. Though we have been reminded of the wickedness that exists in the world, we are also reminded of the kindness and compassion that counters all the evil. We are reminded of how fortunate we are to have our loved ones safe and sound.
In a letter to the editor of The Heights, Professor Peter Krause says that an act of terror is only effective if it destroys the society being attacked. We are still here. We can still run and cheer and tell our friends and family how much we love them. We can show the world what we’re made of and preserve the tradition of supporting dedicated men and women. If I know the BC community, I know we’ll do just that.
My thoughts go out to anyone affected by the bombings today, and I hope that they find peace.