One year ago today, the great city of Boston changed forever. I remember feeling numb with fear as I watched coverage of two bombs exploding near the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon. The cheers were silenced by chaos. The streets were littered with limbs instead of confetti. As a Bostonian, I felt like I was repeatedly punched in the gut watching it unfold.
I cried when I heard that Martin Richard, just 8 years old, lost his life doing what I did so many times as a child: Cheering for the runners from the sidelines. I mourned the other victims of this cowardly act of terrorism, Krystle Campbell and Lingzi Lu. More than 260 people sustained horrific injuries. It was so much to absorb and even harder to accept.
But then ... I saw it. I saw Boston. The heroes running toward the plumes of smoke to save lives. The people opening their hearts and homes to strangers in need. The countless blood drives. The outpouring of donations. I knew we would get through this unspeakable tragedy, and we did. Here are some of the many ways Boston is stronger:
- More than 36,000 people are running on Marathon Monday. They will not cower to terror.
- Record crowds are expected to cheer them on. One million of us will be there! No one is staying home in fear.
- People who were injured in the blast found each other, fell in love, and got married this year. The terrorists united us. They didn’t break us.
- Some injuries have healed and others improve every day. Survivors have overcome incredible adversity to walk again, to dance again, to celebrate life again.
- The runners who recently participated in a coast-to-coast relay to raise money for bombing victims raised $425,000. Their One Run for Boston began March 16 in Santa Monica, California, and ended in Boston on Sunday. The commitment to helping those affected by the bombings hasn’t wavered one bit. We stick together.
- One of the terrorists is dead, and the other is behind bars. They are not free, but we are free.
- All eyes are on our unbeatable city today as we reflect. We commemorate the courage. We remember the victims. We honor the heroes. We show the world how to be #BostonStrong.
- It was completely silent at 2:49 p.m. today. We stood in solidarity at the time the first bomb wreaked havoc on our beloved Boston. We will forever stand in solidarity on this day.
- The Boston Marathon has always been a source of pride, but now it’s not just about pride. It’s about attitude. Everyone has the “See you on Monday!” attitude. Don’t mess with Boston.
How are you feeling today? Do you think Boston is stronger?
Image via Rob Larsen/Flickr