Beantown. The Cradle of Liberty. The Olde Towne.
Boston has many nicknames. It is a city full of history. It is the college town of America. And it’s where more than 25,000 runners gather each year on Patriots Day to run the Boston Marathon, while more than 500,000 individuals cheer on their loved ones, their friends, or just want to partake in a world-famous event. To qualify for the Boston Marathon is an honor. To run and finish is a life accomplishment.
The tragic events that took place on “Marathon Monday” and the days following were shocking and devastating. The fact that any individual would want to do those acts seems unreal.
Boston was my home prior to the Bay area, and chances are I would have been there at the finish line cheering my fellow runners on if I hadn’t moved a couple of months ago. It’s an event that everyone wants to be a part of one day, especially if you’re a New Englander, but especially if you’re a runner. Runners know the hard work, the sweat, the dedication, the waking up in the icy cold morning Boston air to put on one’s sneakers and go for a training run, and the time it takes to prepare oneself for this race. For someone to try to deteriorate everything the race stands for – invincibility, strength, achievement, and hope – is beyond anyone’s imagination.
But apparently those individuals did not know the inner workings of a runner: courage, the ability to never give up, focus, and positive energy.
Runners, and those who understand them, have drive. They set a goal, look ahead, and aim for gold. There are occasional times that we trip, we collapse or we become defeated in a race. But we pick ourselves up, we try again, and we keep moving forward.
Boston will keep moving forward. We will always remember these tragic events. We will always remember Krystle Campbell, Lu Lingzi, Martin Richard, and Sean Collier. But we will not let those who want to see us fail, win. Boston, in another sense, has become a runner. We fell, we got hurt bad, but we’re going to unite, join together, and keep running. And one of these days, one (or more) of those that got injured will run the race. That will be a day that we will always remember and it will prove how strong we really are.
I am proud to have been a Bostonian, and when I visit home I look forward to lacing up my sneakers and running along the Charles amidst other runners – and Americans – who have that willpower to not be beaten.
Boston is resilient. The city and its people are courageous. And they will keep on running.
One last nickname of Boston, that is especially true during this time, is The City of Champions. Those champions are the police officers, the first responders, the doctors and hospitals, and the supporters who aided those affected by these attacks. They are heroes, they are champions, and always will be.
Boston Unite. We will always be strong. #bostonstrong