We keep having these tragedies. These awful, terrible occurrences that stop everyone in their tracks, scare us and make us reconsider everything.
This one hit especially close to home for me. Not just because someone I was very close to was there, and not just because I would have been there myself, like right there, were it not for recent occurrences, but because of the unique circumstances surrounding this event. Unlike the September 11th attacks, which were terrifying because they occurred on a normal day when people were in their routine of going to work and school and it was so unexpected; this tragedy was especially sad because of the extraordinary circumstances.
I’ve had the pleasure of being in Boston for six Boston Marathon’s and Patriot’s Days. And it is always a wonderful and special day there. Throughout the city, residents and visitors take their children to the baseball game, to local museums and walk along the water enjoying the holiday that is unique to their state. On Boylston St., spectators line the sidewalks to watch their loved ones or strangers cross the finish line, and the entire city just feels good and happy. It’s an event that represents, in my opinion, some of the best human qualities: determination, training, dedication and going after a goal that for many of us would be nearly impossible. Just being around this energy makes you feel motivated and excited about life’s possibilities, or at least it always did for me. The atmosphere at the finish line is truly intoxicating. So, to hear that such a catastrophic event happened there, when people are tracking their runners on their phone, checking each passing face to see if it’s the person they are there for, and mentally planning how to best celebrate the accomplishment, is so heartbreaking.
Of course, I speak from the perspective of a spectator, which is what I was for the years I was there. I can only imagine how violated and unsure a Boston Marathon veteran who has participated in the marathon and been a part of the exuberance I’ve witnessed feels.
I hope that all of those of us who were so struck by this event and who still have it at the forefront of our thoughts days later, can use it as a wakeup call to live every day with purpose and importance and to cherish every moment.
Crowd in 2011
2011 finish line
Church in 2009
With my friend Kelsey, who went to school in Boston, in 2010