One Year Later And One Marathon Later: Boston Just Got Stronger

Boston: A city built by rebels, established by culture and education and held together by the strength and courage of a community.

It is a place where winning is expected and passion and heart are always present. It is a city that knows heartache and despair but has persevered through the pain and personified the meaning of “Boston Strong.”

Last week, we celebrated the 118th Boston Marathon with a united front, cheering on those who will cross the finish line on Boylston Street.

From 2:49 pm on April 15th, 2013 — the moment the first bomb went off, with the second bomb exploding just seconds after — Boston felt a sense of vulnerability but managed to keep pushing through the pain the way marathon runners do in each race.

The events that occurred on that day led to an epic manhunt, which completely shut down the city.

Yet, as soon as the phrase, “We got him. Thank God, we got him,” was uttered on the nightly news, the city could truly celebrate the meaning of “Boston Strong,” which was embodied by ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

With the help of Boston’s finest, the heroes of this beloved city, the community came back to life with stronger ties throughout the streets.

Every marathon runner finds the inspiration to run 26.2 miles from a multitude of places. Whether it is to set a personal record, to memorialize a loved one, to raise money for a cause or just to satisfy a bucket list, they find a way to successfully cross the finish line. This year will be especially inspirational for Boston Marathon runners.

On Patriot’s Day, the third Monday in April, the stories of survivors, runners and unsung heroes will resurface.

Many of these experiences will be repurposed as inspiration for this year’s runners or reason to cheer for strangers who are racing.

Regardless of the reason behind one’s attendance at the 118th Boston Marathon, the unity of a beautiful city that has endured so much heartache will prevail again, and this time, with the rest of the country behind it.

Now, one year later, we recognize the heroes who emerged during the horrific time, the runners who were strong enough to keep running to donate blood to local hospitals after they finished the 26.2 miles and especially those who lost their lives in the tragedy. We keep striving for a better tomorrow.

Hopefully, with the race and the rest of our tomorrows, we can fulfill 8-year-old Martin Richard’s wish before he lost his life at the finish line:

“No more hurting people. Peace.”

If nothing else, the city of Boston will start to heal again.

Ernest Hemingway once said, “The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong in the broken places.”

With the support of loved ones, the spectators who will fill the streets and of course, the runners themselves, the 2014 Boston Marathon will create new memories for everyone involved. This is our city. Boston Strong just got stronger.

Photo Courtesy: Facebook