The Boston Marathon is for champions, for those who endure great physical hardships and surmount them, who keep moving forward when it would be far easier to retreat. It is for the resilient. It’s for the determined. For the strong of spirit. At no time in the history of the Boston Marathon was this more evident than on Monday.
The Boston Marathon is for champions, for those who endure great physical hardships and surmount them, who keep moving forward when it would be far easier to retreat. It is for the resilient. It’s for the determined. For the strong of spirit.
At no time in the history of the Boston Marathon was this more evident than on Monday.
The evil of whoever launched the attack at the marathon cannot overcome the good of those who raced to raise money for cancer research, for Newtown victims, in memory of loved ones lost in the 9/11 attacks. We saw this, too, as police, firefighters, paramedics, good Samaritans, doctors and nurses ran toward where the explosions had just occurred as others ran for their lives. Many risked their own lives and limbs to save others.
There are stories of strangers throwing their bodies on top of strangers to protect them from blasts. Of removing belts and shirts to bind and cover the wounded. There are many accounts of off-duty police and firefighters who, unprotected, ran toward the bombs, not away. People offered their homes to stranded travelers, their cellphones and chargers, water and food. Some simply held hands, prayed together or gave comfort to the devastated.
In the wake of the attack, there have been sad commentaries from those who say the Boston Marathon will never be the same, that the city never will. It’s true. But that doesn’t mean the people or the city won’t go on.
Terrorist attacks are not new to Americans. For decades they have occurred abroad and within our borders. While many may have been shocked by the attacks in Boston, few were surprised.
The city of Boston has long prepared for just such an instance. Drills have been conducted by emergency responders and hospitals again and again. They could have been excused for initially thinking this was just another one. Once the victims, their clothes and bodies shredded, began arriving at the city’s five emergency departments, the people working in those departments knew better. War had come to our streets.
Some on Boylston Street described it as chaos, but it wasn’t. The response was swift, efficient and, most important, effective. At last count, 176 people were injured and three had died. We all grieve and are heartsick for the pain and loss. But the extraordinarily coordinated response likely saved many more lives.
As in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, people are asking how this could happen. Even with the best of security – and as we saw on Monday, law enforcement was out in force – determined individuals will sometimes succeed. And all it takes to grab international headlines is one successful attempt.
We don’t know yet who did this. We don’t know their motivation or goals. What we do know is that in such an attack, the goal is to instill terror. They did not.
Page 2 of 2 - By Monday night, Logan Airport was reopened, the MBTA was running, and on Tuesday morning, it was business as usual as people returned to work via public transportation. Food kiosks around the area of the attack were open.
There will be a 118th running of the Boston Marathon. We believe that more people than ever will apply to run and that the crowds will be larger and even more supportive. The people of Greater Boston, the United States and our international neighbors will not be bowed by acts of terror.
We’ve no doubt investigators will bring to justice those who did this. We expect no less. Yet there’s little doubt America will face another attack. This is our new normal.
But those who seek to terrorize the United States don’t understand Americans. Like marathon runners, we have endured great hardships over the years, yet we keep moving forward.
Whoever did this didn’t succeed in terrorizing Americans. Instead, they reminded us of our shared values, reinforced our strengths and revived our faith in humanity.
Going forward, we won’t remember April 15 as a day of terror. We will remember it as the day good triumphed over evil.
From our sister publication, The Patriot Ledger, in Quincy, Mass.