It was a day like any other.
That’s always how these stories start, isn’t it?
On April 15, 2013, most runners and supporters didn’t think much about security. They were fighting back butterflies as they imagined finishing a marathon, or letting out cheers as they rooted for a dad or sister or best friend.
Some folks knew family and friends would be there, but couldn’t make it or had other plans. They figured they’d see the photos later on Twitter and Facebook.
But bloody pictures of a bomb’s aftermath? No one expected that.
I’m a Massachusetts native, so when the news bombarded my Facebook feed I made frantic calls and got the news. Thankfully, no one I knew had been hurt.
But for 264 others and their families, the tragedy lives on. For them, “Boston Strong” is more than a nice catch phrase that makes you feel good about being a Red Sox fan. For the families of Krystle Campbell, Martin William Richard, Lingzi Lu, and Sean Collier, “Boston Strong” is a salve for the deep wounds their lost lives left.
Today, thousands run in memory of the bomb’s victims. Missing limbs, lost hearing, shrapnel wounds—this list shows it all. The bombing didn’t discriminate by race or age. John Odom and Eric and Ann Whalley were 65. Martin was eight, and his sister just seven. I encourage you all to read the names and their stories. It would be unjust to highlight just one.
At a publication like this, it’s hard not to politicize events. We want to call for greater security or updated terrorist watch lists. We want to demand tighter borders or reduced immigration. But today, there isn’t time for that.
Today we should remember the victims and their families. We should celebrate with the overcomers, mourn with those who lost, and rejoice with those who got the opportunity to finish the race they started.
Let’s not forget the marathon is run on Patriot’s Day, the Massachusetts celebration of the Battle of Lexington and Concord which started the American Revolution. Boston has a history of coming back after a fight. Only months later:
The British won the so-called Battle of Bunker Hill…[but] the battle was a significant morale-builder for the inexperienced Americans, convincing them that patriotic dedication could overcome superior British military might. Additionally, the high price of victory…made the British realize that the war with the colonies would be long, tough and costly.
Remember which side won that war? In other words, don’t mess with Boston.