I live north of Boston, and I was in the spot where the bombings occurred on Boylston Street just this past Saturday having lunch with friends and shopping. The city was bustling with activity as Marathon Monday approached. Business as usual by all accounts.
For those not familiar with Patriots’ Day, it may be the biggest holiday in Boston. It’s a New England holiday as well as marathon day. There's a Revolutionary War reenactment commemorating the battles at Lexington and Concord at the crack of dawn. The marathon route goes through several towns and ends in Boston, so typically businesses give their employees the day off. It’s also the start of school vacation week. The Red Sox play an 11 a.m. game that ends about the time the runners are moving toward Boston proper. There’s always a celebratory feeling on this day because the race is now thought of as an international event. Even the weather cooperated—55 degrees and sunny.
By the time the bomb blasts happened, the elite runners had crossed the finish line. Runners who participate for causes, running to raise money and awareness, were the ones coming across during the bomb blasts. Strangers helping strangers, passing water to the weary, cheering them on—that’s when the bombs started. First one blast, then a second moments after. It’s amazing anyone knew what to do during the chaos. And even as prepared as the event planners were for such an attack, it still threw everyone in confusion. Just unimaginable.
So today, that portion of downtown Boston is a massive crime scene. The news runs footage in a continuous loop because of the lack of information. Now, Boston adds its name to a long list of cities affected by this type of terror. It’s really an inconceivable thing, until you’re checking in with friends and getting calls from family wondering if you’re OK.
Bostonians are tough, resilient in a way I have never known before. We don’t take shit from anyone. I’m sure law enforcement will find the ones who did this and bring them to justice. I am a Virginian and a Southerner through and through, but Boston is my adopted home. My kids were born here. Our life is here. My heart goes out to the victims and the first responders today.
Today, we are all Bostonians.