How does one even approach or introduce the terrible events that occurred in Boston at the marathon on April 15th? If someone knows, I’d gladly be steered in the right direction. As many times as I have started typing, I’ve stopped.
Speechless. Heartbroken. Disgusted.
Boston is my hometown. Endless adventures of my life have played out in the various neighborhoods of the city. Southie is where I attended college and walked with pride across the stage as a first-generation graduate. The back-roads and neighborhoods passed on my commute in and out of school were always active; people bustling in and out of traffic; drivers filled with road-rage, yelling between cars at red lights.
Back Bay is where I spent many hours daydreaming of a future city life, taking in the water’s breeze and beauty. The homeless population that took residence in this area was a calm, soft reminder of my dedication to social services and my future career.
Chinatown was a childhood favorite, as I spent many days going to work with my Dad. On special days, we would stop in one of the Asian markets and bring fresh, buttery pork buns home for the family. The smell of the buns in the car would have my stomach growling before we’d even reach the highway on-ramp.
Boston is a diverse compilation of everything in life: lights, noise, action. The one thing Boston is not is a place for fear, for giving up, for losing faith.
Boston’s about life through noise – clubs, bars, Fenway fans pouring out onto the street, loud personalities, 100% purebred Southie residents screaming at one another over their lawn-chair-claimed parking spots.
Boston’s about sports – baseball, basketball, football – hell, it doesn’t even matter if our city has a decent shot at the game, we play with pride and we play to win.
Boston’s about education – from one end of the city to the other, higher education institutions line the streets, with unique and eccentric college students juggling instruments, briefcases, and presentations between cross walk lights. (Just kidding, who in Boston even looks at crossing lights?!)
But mostly… Boston is about pride and strength. The Irish, the Italians, the Portuguese – all of our typical cultural divides fade breathlessly away in the wake of tragedy. No longer are North and South Shore figuratively battling out who has the toughest crew or the most alarming accents. The competing colleges drop their rat-race and take a moment of silence.
The entire city stops in the face of tragedy.
We stop. We listen. We cry. We hug. We support.
And then we react.
We take back what was stolen. We shine our faces full of pride, honor, and strength, not letting even the most horrific events slow us down. We never back down and we never lose hope.