One year ago today, I sat dazed, staring at the news feeds and tweets, pictures and information scrolling across my computer screen, thinking over and over again, All I did was go to lunch. Two misguided individuals fueled by hate, two pressure cookers, and a plan to terrorize our city.
These past few weeks as articles and advertisements have ramped up the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing, I’ve spent a lot of time dabbing tissues at my eyes – silly things kept leaking. I’ve been so inspired by the resilience of the victims and our community. No one is shying away from marathon #118. There have been record registrations. More people than ever are hitting the treadmills, the running paths, the sidewalks to show solidarity. We run because our story hasn’t ended. Those kids’ terror plan has absolutely failed to terrorize us.
Look at Boston: do we seem like a city terrorized to you? Our community rallied; our city spent the past year supporting survivors of the tragedy in so many different ways. The nations’ best medical care – right here in Boston – helped rebuild victims’ bodies and strength. Newspapers and magazines wrote endlessly about events, spotlighting good deeds and incredible recoveries, stories of love and miracles that refuted any idea that bad guys get to win. So many heartwarming stories that it was dazzling, allowing us to process and shape our own story, the one where we win. Our sports’ teams dedicated their seasons to the families affected, often hosting survivors as special guests. Countless players spent time meeting one-on-one with survivors, each inspiring the other throughout the year. And it worked – this leaning on each other made such an impression. Who could forget Big Papi rallying the troops, yelling that “This is our [farking] city!!”
I know it hasn’t always been up, there have been some downs, of course there have. But you know what strikes me? Not once have I seen evidence of a city, a community terrorized. I see countless stories of inspiration. I see resilience. I see people drawn together. Determination. Victory. Pride. No one stayed home from the 4th of July concert at the Esplanade. No one avoided Gillette or Fenway. The T was as jam-packed as ever.
We are Boston Strong. Our heroes will stand up to bad guys regardless of their own personal safety, and we will honor them (the heroes, not the yahoos) for time out of mind. We will no-kidding shut down our city (except for Dunkin’ Donuts – that stays open) and hunt you down if you try to destroy what we hold dear. And then we will go about our business. We will run marathons. Win World Series. Win Pulitzer Prizes for our coverage of your attack on our city. And go about our daily business.
We run on.
Because we cannot be terrorized. We were Boston Strong. And now, not thanks to you, but thanks to ourselves, we are even stronger.