Four years ago, two brothers attempted to tear the city of Boston apart by planting two bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, one of the cities’ most iconic events. The marathon, ran since 1897 celebrates the battles of Lexington and Concord in 1775, the “shots heard ‘round the world” and the beginning of the American Revolution. They failed.
The Tsarnaev brothers Dzhokhah and Tamerlan didn’t have the slightest clue that the bombs that killed or injured 100s of people from all walks of life on that spring day in Boston would have the exact opposite effect. It brought the city together, the “Boston Strong” movement wasn’t a slogan just used on t-shirts, it showed the resiliency and strength that the people won’t stand by and allow the terrorists to win.
Ordinary people showed remarkable courage in chipping in to help the injured on that day as the city rallied. Perhaps the most iconic moment occurred later when the Boston Red Sox held a pre-game ceremony to honor the victims and then slugger David Ortiz told the crowd, “This is our F$$$ing city.”
Boston will have its marathon today and it will be bigger than ever with close to 32,000 runners attempting to finish one of the tougher road races in the world.
And at 2:49 p.m., volunteers around the city will pause for a moment of silence.
“The Boston Marathon is a key part of our city’s identity, and continues to show the world that Boston is strong, and our traditions will endure, no matter what,” Walsh said in a statement. “The spirit of the day on April 15 shows the best of Boston: how Bostonians from all backgrounds come together to line the streets, celebrate one another and do good for their community.”
The city has encouraged residents to submit online pledges to do “acts of kindness” and post them to social media using the hashtag #OneBostonDay. As of Friday, there were 5,142 pledges.
Pledges are also being taken outside the city and continuing throughout the year.
North of Boston, the Malden Islamic Center is planning a Mediterranean food festival to raise funds for Bread of Life, a faith-based organization that gives food to low-income families in Malden and other suburbs.
“It’s really about building a stronger community together and trying to help others on a day when there was so much pain,” said the mosque’s administrative director, Nichole Mossalam. She was formerly the executive director of the Islamic Society of Boston, a small mosque in Cambridge that the Tsarnaevs occasionally attended.
The terrorists only win if we let them alter our way of life or live in fear. The Boston Marathon will go on, bigger and better this year. Hope to see you there.
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Photo courtesy Associated Press