As a Boston Baby, there were several things I looked forward to every year: (1) summer in the city, (2) Red Sox opening day and (3) Marathon Monday. Falling on Patriots’ Day, the Boston Marathon is the oldest annual marathon in the country, as well as one of the largest. It’s a huge draw for tourists, and for runners across the globe aspiring to set a new goal. For Bostonians, Marathon Monday is the most beautiful day. It’s more than just a day off from work or school, and more than just a marathon. Hundreds of thousands set aside any differences to come together, cheer on family and friends, and to celebrate life.
This year, on Monday, April 15, 2013, 2 bombs struck the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Reports say 3 are dead (including an 8 year old boy) and over 110 are injured (ranging from age 2 and up). 4 hours into the race, bombs went off along Boylston Street in places I called home. One across from an old neighborhood haunt called the Lenox Hotel where my girlfriends and I used to spend all of our hours enjoying martinis and gabbing through the night. Another across from the Boston Public Library, a place where I used to escape to during lunch breaks from my Prudential Center job. More importantly, these 2 bombs went off in the middle of crowds rooting for the home team.
There are many who will never be able to walk again, run again, or smile the same way again. And for that I am heartbroken. Dismayed. Speechless. Disgusted. There’s no one yet to blame and there is only fear to embrace. The 26th mile was to be dedicated to the kids who died in the Newtown tragedies, and within the 26th mile, a death toll rose.
I am blessed. My family is okay. My mother did not go to her downtown Boston job today and my father’s commute doesn’t involve the city at all. My aunt is well, my grandmother and uncle are too. My cousin is safely tucked away in college.
I am also hopeful. I’ve heard reports that marathon runners who crossed the finish line kept running to hospitals to donate their blood. I watched the YouTube videos that showed instead of running away, many ran into the smoke to help. I’ve read blog posts of spectators giving runners their coats, money to get home, and cell phones to call home with no request of the items to be returned. There are Facebook groups and Google Docs filled with people offering the warmth of their home and the comfort of a roof for those without.
So, behind the cloak of this senseless tragedy, there is a glimmer of light. Bostonians: we’re strong, we’re scrappy, and we’re the underdogs. We’ll be okay.