Column: 617 words strong
This morning, the sun will rise high above the city of Boston and glimmer off the many windows that dot the Prudential Building. It will shine over TD Garden and Quincy Market after passing over Fenway Park and Boylston Street.
Today is a special day in Boston, Patriots Day. It is a day to commemorate the infamous battles of Lexington and Concord during the American Revolution in 1775. Throughout Massachusetts ordinary citizens dressed in clothing from the time period will march in parades and the Red Sox will play a home game at Fenway Park. Patriot's Day also includes the running of the Boston Marathon.
This year's marathon has a different feel to it due to the devastating attack that happened a year ago last Tuesday. Two bombs built from pressure cookers, designed to inflict serious harm detonated killing three people and injuring countless others. As runners crossed the finish line after a grueling 26 mile run, they were met with flying shrapnel and screams, instead of cheers and smiles.
An act of terrorism at one of America's annual traditions was meant to incite fear in a city and demoralize its people. Instead, as the bombs exploded on Boylston Street, people who ran 26 miles ran another two miles or so to the nearest hospital to donate blood. Boston Police who thought they were only there for crowd control quickly sprang into action to save lives and help the injured. Ordinary citizens went toward the carnage despite not knowing what would happen next to save the lives of complete strangers.
In a flash Patriot's Day took on a whole new meaning. It wasn't just about baseball at Fenway or the running of a marathon, but about defending your country and helping the person next to you. It's ironic considering the origin of this holiday.
Most of you by now have seen or heard the stories of survivors like Jeff Bauman, who just released his own memoir called "Stronger." And you all know the story of the bombers themselves, who don't even deserve to be named in this column. Personally, I hate when the perpetrators of violence get more attention than the victims of their cowardly actions.
This year's marathon should be run in remembrance of those killed in the attack and the manhunt that followed, but it should be a celebration rather than mourning of all we have lost. With the media the city of Boston has expressed they will run again and run as one. If there's anything we learned about Boston from all of this, it is the city's resiliency.
Shortly after the bombing, a Red Sox designated hitter took to the microphone at Fenway Park and declared that "this is our (expletive) city, and nobody is going to dictate our freedom." The Sox went on to win the World Series last year and placed the trophy at the finish line with the "617 strong" jersey that hung in the dugout all season.
At the end of the day today is about the people running their hearts out not just for first place, but to finish the grueling challenge of running a marathon. What people should take away from last year's tragedy is that through turbulent times you get back up and get on the starting line.
The take away that you can't keep a city like Boston down. You should recognize that life is a precious thing that can be taken away in an instant, even on a clear sunny day. You should not be afraid to live your life and that the best revenge against the cowardly individuals who attacked the marathon is living well and running on.
Follow Tyler on Twitter @TylerRMorrissey
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