in my planner, on the date of monday, april 15th, i placed a “holiday” sticker and wrote “boston marathon!” in my favorite fluorescent pink pen. if you’re not from boston, i’d venture to say that you still have some inkling as to what a special and historic event the marathon is. being from the area, i especially understand how much people look forward to the day with anticipation that rivals christmas or a birthday. it’s an event which marks great athleticism, a gathering of community domestically and internationally, and is overall, a day filled with genuine pride and encouragement. as one of my best friends puts it, “it’s weird to live in boston and not take marathon monday off.”
exactly three weeks later, we now know that what ultimately ensued was an unspeakable act of terror and cowardice. any bombing by virtue, is horrific. a bombing on patriot’s day, at the finale of the country’s oldest marathon, in such a historically significant city, in my city – vehemently spat in the face of the unabashed american spirit. this was absolutely personal, and it was absolutely devastating.
it’s taken some time to articulate emotions into words. this is beyond my reason or logic or ability to comprehend; and in such a senseless circumstance, we want to be able to make sense where none exists. when i think about it, the people who were at the marathon were runners, loved ones, onlookers, who came in wholehearted support. and conversely, certain individuals were in attendance only to inflict harm. it’s difficult to grasp that such extremes exist in people.
in the days that followed, we learned more and more details. i don’t care to discuss the perpetrators or politics because whatever unfolds doesn’t change what happened. people can’t be brought back to life. limbs can’t be regrown, and memories can’t be erased. what i do care about, what i would prefer to focus on, are the stories of those affected. as information surfaced, my worst fears were realized. these people aren’t just “victims” i know on the news in passing. they are people i know in actual, every day life: family friends, neighbors, former classmates… it’s been hard to digest.
since the marathon, several donation-based sites have been created for individual recovery funds. some that i know of are for celeste & sydney, patrick & jess, and jeff bauman. i have been checking these pages every so often and it is incredible to literally see the donations and kind comments rapidly piling up. i truly can’t think of more worthwhile causes. rarely am i ever moved to tears, but when i read the comments on these pages, from people all across the country and even the world, i can’t help but be. the strength of the victims and the love and generosity of the people supporting, are the very epitome of what it means to be boston strong. now, more than ever one of my favorite quotes by anne frank, rings true: “in spite of everything, i still believe that people are really good at heart.” if there’s anything i’ve taken from this, it’s that we can find the good in almost anything. we can do good under any circumstance. and collectively, we’re capable of far more good than any harm outside forces can bring, especially in the city of boston.
for most people, what happened on monday, april 15th is only a tragic news story. lives will resume as normal and the memories will eventually subside. for the boston community though, forgetting is impossible. for myself, forgetting will never be possible, not out of fear, but because the resulting goodwill and sheer determination, will endure in my thoughts and actions forever.