i’m not sure what to say.
as of june 2013, i’ll have lived in the greater boston area for 10 years and to quote this article: “Even if we can’t say we are “from” Boston we surely confirm when asked that we are “of” Boston. It remains in our blood.”
that’s the beauty of boston — its small town feel.
patriots day is our day. it’s a day of cheer and celebration. as a state holiday, there’s no school or work and people flood downtown to take in the exceptional endurance of the marathon runners, to revel in the sense of community as spring like temperatures thaw our winter hearts, and to watch the red sox win, as they always seem to do on this day. smiles and beers and applause flow freely.
not blood. that’s not supposed to happen on patriots day.
nor fear or chaos or anger or confusion or explosions.
i used to work downtown two blocks from the finish line. i still know people who do. i know three people who ran the race. i know even more who were watching from the sidewalk sidelines. i sat there on the safe shores of the other side of the river at work and never before so grateful to be in the office on a day when the majority of this state isn’t.
on 9/11, i was ensconced in a classroom and missed everything as it unfolded. the devastation was external and internal and widespread and it felt far away and yet, too close. much too close.
on 4/15, i was in front of my work computer. the hallways were quiet, but the twitter updates roared in my ears and eyes. i couldn’t believe what i was reading, seeing, feeling. it was the first time i “experienced” a horror in real time.
i recognize every patch of the runner-covered street, each panel of blood splattered sidewalk, each blown out storefront window. this is my city and that area is the heart of it. i felt the panic, the horror, the confusion, the noise.
texts and voicemails (calls weren’t going through) and tweets poured in from all my long-distance family and friends. i sent out my own emails and texts checking in, accounting for, reassuring my local people. we all wondered what was going on and what was going to happen next.
we still are.
and so for now, amidst our search for answers, it’s important to focus on the good. the first responders who sprang to action. the runners who wore their hearts on their sleeves and left their best efforts on the race path, whether they finished or not. the civilians who offered help in any form they could, be it food or shelter or coats or phones or hugs or support.
the sense of community that always blooms on patriots day has grown wild and free enveloping us, encouraging us, strengthening us as we attempt to move forward, move away from the shadow of the bombing, together.