Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Pray for Boston
Today is Day One.
Yesterday, two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Boylston Street. From the reports thusfar, three people have died, 17 people remain in critical condition and over 150 people were injured by the blasts.
The marathon finish was re-routed to Boston University, preventing countless amounts of participants from crossing the famous yellow finish line, and giving race officials, police, volunteers and other first responders a chance to clear the debris and assist anyone injured in the horrific incident.
Today is Day One. Our city's first day to take a step back and breathe, no matter how choked up we may be. Our first day to try to restore some normalcy to our lives whether it be by just going to work or making that extra time to talk to or see our close friends and family. Our first day to take back our marathon.
See, the Boston Marathon is not only the world's oldest marathon, but it's the best one going. The entire city becomes one big family, with over 500,000 spectators cheering on over 25,000 runners as they battle their way from Hopkinton over Heartbreak Hill, past Boston College and down Beacon and Bolyston Street. But Monday a different battle had to be fought. The two explosions created an unthinkable war zone that knocked runners from their feet, blew out store windows, destroyed grandstands, sent shrapnel flying and brought this great city to its knees.
Today is Day One. Day One of William Richard's life without his eight-year-old son, Martin, who was taken away from him by this senseless and cowardly attack. Day One for those injured in local hospitals to wake up with missing limbs and crippling injuries.
Standing on the marathon course from outside my apartment on Beacon Street, I made the decision to stay away from the news as it was being reported around 3 p.m. I chose to stay put and cheer those people on who have dedicated themselves to pushing through 26.2 miles for a long list of amazing reasons that make this event what it is. Whether they were running for Boston Children's Hopsital, the Wounded Warrior Project or just because their friends told them they couldn't finish the whole thing in a cheeseburger costume, cheering was my coping mechanism.
Watching people with numbers pinned to their shirts whipping out their cell phones and slowing to a walk was heart-wrenching. A woman came up to me as the crowd thinned, and with a look of concern I can't shake, asked me if she would be able to finish the Boston Marathon. Me, the same person who hours earlier was with a group of my closest friends, holding a sign for the runners that said, "stop if you want beer!"
But today is Day One. Day One for Boston to come together and find their coping mechanism.
It's fitting that today be a bright sunny day in this city, because while we have been knocked down, Boston will never stay down. On this sunny day, people will come together for the victims, for the runners who never finished and for those who will never get another opportunity to finish. Boston is strong. Boston is ready. While there will forever be a scar on our hearts and on this city, the Boston Marathon will never be taken from us.