My Boston has been under siege this week. In a move unprecedented anywhere else, My Boston and surrounding cities and towns were under lock down for close to 24 hours – a scary idea that people were not able to leave their homes, businesses could not open, some being evacuated from their homes. Bombs were found in the streets. This is not my Boston.
I have spent a good chunk of this past week in emotional turmoil and I’m sure many of my fellow Bostonians have been as well. It’s been very surreal to see your city, your home, attacked by anyone – it doesn’t matter who they are or why they are doing it. They did it.
And yet, despite all of this, I’m seeing so much spirit coming from My Boston. People are rallying. People are showing their Boston pride in any way they can – whether it is running a race in support of the marathoners, raising money for those that were hurt or killed in the attack, or just showing their pride by wearing Boston apparel. I could not be more proud of My Boston right now.
I spent the majority of my day on Friday glued to the television as the police neared in on the suspect. I had the distinct advantage of being 6 hours ahead of our friends and family in Boston and was watching the news starting at 4:30AM EST when I heard thru a friend on my Facebook (seriously what did we do without social media) that they had tracked down the suspects. I’ve no doubt many of you did the same as soon as you woke up. And honestly I probably didn’t need the tv as I was getting a play by play on my Facebook throughout the day. Eventually I had to turn off the news when the kids got home as I did not want to expose them to something that could become violent within in a moment.
But Aidan had questions. And I had to answer them. We had to talk about terrorism. About being safe and how safe mommy and daddy could make him in this world. Even days later he is still asking questions about his safety and having bad dreams about people blowing up places and people that he loves. It’s too much for a (almost) 9 year old to bear and he shouldn’t have to. I explained to him what it means to live in a post 9/11 world. I asked him if he knew what 9/11 was and while he did not know the details, he did know it happened in New York and to the Twin Towers – that was more than I expected him to know. More than I wanted my sweet, innocent child to have to know. He and his brother will never know what it was like to grow up in the 80s when we didn’t worry about such things. Where the innocent were allowed to be just that, innocent.
But I also explained to him that we are bigger than the terrorists. Our Boston is a place filled with history. It’s filled with families. We are strong. We are fighters. We obsess about our sports. And we have expressed our strength with how we have rallied at our sporting events over the last few days. Thousands of people singing the National Anthem at the Bruins game (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbHMRpdk3_4), Big Papi telling the terrorists that it’s our fucking city and the FCC letting him get away with it (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoTnGa-Dckw), Neil Diamond showing up to sing Sweet Caroline (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqXyHon_hD8). It’s amazing to watch the city come together in these difficult times. And given that it was a sporting event that tore our city apart, I think it’s apropos that sporting events bring us back together.
We were scarred on Monday. But all over the internet I’m seeing people saying how this isn’t going to stop them from living lives, from running more marathons or from posting messages like these that while somewhat silly, ring true to the hearts of Bostonians no matter where you live (I wish I had clipped these 2 days ago as now I can’t find most of them in my Facebook):
My Boston has changed since last Monday. It will never be quite the same. However, we are stronger for it. We won’t let this bring the spirit of our city down. There is new respect for the police force and all that they do for us. Saturday morning I woke up to find that the second suspect had been captured, in a boat of all places. But there was one post that was shared online that showed me not just how Strong My Boston is, but that when faced with adversity, we will stand together and we will WIN. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsHPgMlNtcE
I know this isn’t over. The last suspect (that we know of at the moment) is in custody. Questions will be asked and hopefully at least some, answered. A trial. And healing for the city of Boston. One thing I know for sure, I have never been more proud of where I come from – My Boston. The people are unlike any the world over. We are unique, we are proud, we are fighters – we are Boston Strong.