As I write this we don’t know who bombed the Boston Marathon.
We don’t know who killed an 8-year old boy who was watching the race, maybe waiting for a family member to finish. We don’t know who murdered at least two more and injured over 170. We still don’t know why.
What I do know is how important Patriot’s Day is to the city of Boston and to the state of Massachusetts. It’s a state holiday, paying homage to Massachusetts’ role in the Revolutionary War.
The war started in Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775. Boston was the site of the Tea Party and the Boston Massacre. That’s why the Boston Marathon is always run on Patriot’s Day and why the Red Sox play at 11 a.m.
This was the 117th running of the Boston Marathon. It’s another part of history Boston holds on to. For Bostonians, Patriot’s Day is about pride, pride in our role in American history.
I say, “our role in history,” because I grew up in Massachusetts, not too far from Boston. My college dorm was about a half-mile from the bomb sites on Boylston Street. I, like so many Bostonians, have walked past the Marathon finish line 1,000 times. Probably even more than that. I’ve been there on Marathon Day amongst the crowds cheering on runners. Usually it’s an amazing day.
On April 15 it was. Until 2:50 p.m. EST. It was the moment I and so many others had feared since Sept. 11, 2001. The moment we hoped we would never see: a bomb going off at a major event.
Sure, there have been attempts on Times Square and on airplanes, but until today bombings haven’t been successful in this country.
Terrorism is the act that never seems to escape our minds. It’s the word that always seems to be present at every political event and at every sporting event and every airport. Days like today make me wonder if the world has changed for the worse.
If there is a silver lining, it’s seeing the best of humanity when the worst comes out. The people who ran towards the blast, not away from it. The people who carried the wounded to get medical attention. The people who put aside their safety while others are in need. There were so many stories like this that happened on April 15, just as they did on Sept. 11. At least I can go to bed knowing this.
There are some horribly evil people out there who wish to do harm and while I wonder if that means the world has changed, one thing that remains constant is the fact there are more amazing people who will rush into harm’s way when evil strikes.