I was born in Boston, MA and spent 12 years of my life there. I lived most of my childhood in a yellow house in a small, family-oriented neighborhood in Wellesley. Every year, there was one Monday in April that all school kids looked forward to—Marathon Monday. Pretty much everyone had a day off of school, especially in Wellesley because the marathon went right through the town’s center.
Marathon Monday was a family affair. We always went with our neighbors and watched it on a corner between two pizza shops. Lucky us, we had two pizza places to pick from for lunch (!!). Watching a marathon as a fidgety kid may sound like it wouldn’t be too attention grabbing, but I remember being in awe at the speed of the pack leaders and the endurance of every person running the race.
It wasn’t until I moved to N.C. that I realized that the Boston Marathon represented just how united the people of Boston are. I think the whole world realized this last year after the Boston Bombings. I remember when I first heard about the event. I was sitting in my Media Ethics class and received a push notification from Huffington Post that said: “Two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Boylston St.” There wasn’t enough information to understand the magnitude of the event, but after class it was evident. Students gawked at the news segments on the TV in Carroll Hall—the home of the J-School at UNC. Someone had disrupted one of Boston’s most well-known events, and in turn had attempted to break the spirits of its people.
The key word is attempted. Today, I saw endless headlines about commemoration and the resiliency of the city, but there were none (that I saw) about the bombers. Instead of pointing fingers or wishing for violent retribution, the people of Boston proved to the world how strong they were. That strength was always there, though. They displayed it in the manhunt that ensued after the bombings. They showed it in their ability to avoid stereotyping the Muslim community. Boston didn’t let the bombings come between its unity. That’s what makes the people of the city Boston Strong.
So, on the anniversary of the Boston Bombings, we look at how a great city bounced back flawlessly from a tragic event. We remember how Boston made the whole world stop and stare at a city that embodies pride and resilience. A year ago, 20 years ago, today and forever, Boston has been and will always be Boston Strong.