I know I’m getting this out a little late, but it’s been a very difficult week, and I wanted to share my thoughts. Thanks for reading.
As most of you know by now, a favorite topic of mine is monsters. I like to analyze who or what they are, how they became monstrous, what they look like, and what they do. In the context of film and literature this is a fun topic that can teach us about ourselves and our fears. However, we learn the most about ourselves when confronted with despicable human beings – real life monsters.
Last Monday, April 15, 2013, was an extremely difficult day for me and countless others affected by the senseless acts of monstrous people. I work at the corner of Berkeley and Boylston Street, which is just over a block past the finish line of the Boston Marathon where the bombings took place, and this hit close to home for me. I spend time in this area every day eating lunch, shopping, and taking walks - mundane activities that will never be the same for me or any other Bostonian. The scenes from that day will be burned into our memories because of the terrible pain they caused.
I went home, ate dinner despite my lack of appetite, and like any good Bostonian, settled in to watch the Bruins game. Coverage began with a montage that showed many of the people who stepped up to help during the tragedy. Selfless acts that saved many lives. There were blue and yellow ribbons labeled “Boston Strong”. Then Rene Rancourt (a Boston Bruins staple) stepped out to sing the national anthem. He only sang one line before the crowd took over and everyone sang in unison. An entire arena full of people who were not afraid to attend the game, or who were and went anyway, all sang together, all supporting one another.
In the days following the attack, Boston Police, the FBI, and even the general public all worked together to identify the suspects and track them down. I began to realize that this is not a story about monsters; this is a story about heroes. Thousands of police officers risked their lives, or gave their life, to aid others and bring down these suspects. The fantastic medical staffs of the Boston Marathon and at area hospitals worked tirelessly to save many lives throughout the week. News outlets and social media were vital to spreading information that kept people safe and ultimately helped the police catch the second suspect. And regular people, who in the minutes before the blasts were enjoying the spirit of the Boston Marathon, stepped in to stop the bleeding and carry others to safety despite the grave danger that confronted them. The bravery and strength exhibited by the City of Boston on that day and the days following was unprecedented. And that’s what this story is about.
Yes, these monsters were frightening; they terrorized my community, killed four innocent people, and severely wounded many others. I will never forget that awful tragedy. And it’s true that Boylston Street will never be the same for me, but I won’t be afraid, I’ll be thinking about how extraordinarily brave the people of this city are, and how proud I am to be a part of that.
In a way, it’s like we’re all siblings. We may swear at each other and push each other around, but if anyone else fucks with you, I’ll take ‘em down.
I am. We Are. Boston Strong.
The victims and families of this tragedy still have a long road ahead of them. If you would like to help the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings please donate to The One Fund.