I have been a Bostonian for almost half of my 30 years. I came here for college, decided to stay for work, and started my family here.
I love Boston.
In particular, I, like every other Bostonian, looks forward to Marathon Monday every year. It is the official start of spring for me. In the 13 Marathon Mondays I have lived here, the vast majority of them have been beautiful days. Days spent outside with friends and now family. Days cheering for complete strangers for hours as they attempt to run 26.2 miles from Hopkinton, up Heartbreak Hill, and down to Copley Square. I have yelled myself hoarse trying to give a boost of energy to complete strangers so they could finish their Marathon. This year I got to spend my first Marathon Monday with my son. As I have every year before, we spent the day outside, enjoying good food, family, and friends.
Marathon Monday has always been the day of the year that everyone comes together to celebrate and cheer for strangers. It was always the day when typically reserved New Englanders would come out en mass to wear their emotions on their sleeves and be friendly with their neighbors and strangers. Today proves that Marathon Monday is not the only day of the year that we showcase the best of Boston. Thousands came out to volunteer to donate blood if needed after the explosions. Of course our blood banks were already full. The videos showing the aftermath show more people running into the smoke to help the injured than running away.
I worked a block away from where the explosions took place for three years and have walked the end of the Marathon route thousands of times, pointing out the finish line to everyone with me. It is a beautiful part of the city and it breaks my heart to watch what happened today.
Since I have lived here, I have learned that Bostonians are a strong people and we don’t ever give up or let anything stop us. The tragic events of the 117th Boston Marathon will never be forgotten. They will be added to the great history of this city and will shape us for years to come. Boston is called “The Hub of the Universe.” But really it is a small town masquerading as a big city. We can hold our own against any city in the world and the best of small town Boston has been on display today.
My thoughts and prayers go out to all who were killed or injured today. I may have been born in Iowa but if the past 13 years have taught me anything it is that I am proud to be a Bostonian.
Thank you to all those who ran today. All those who cheered. And all those who responded.
As the signs littering the Marathon route proclaimed, “All in for Boston!”
I wrote this a year ago and it still rings true today. I’m proud to be a Bostonian and am looking forward to bringing my son to his first Boston Marathon on Monday. I’m also proud to be participating in the weekend’s events by running the 5K on Saturday.