First, we want to thank all of you for your thoughtful messages and concerns. Please know that everyone in the TwentyTweets family is okay. Continue to send your thoughts and prayers to the victims of Monday’s tragedy.
It’s been difficult to gather my thoughts, but I’m ready now. I’m ready to share even the smallest bit of insight to what it’s been like in Boston during the aftermath of the tragedy that occurred on Marathon Monday.
As many of you know, Jenna and I both work in communications at different hospitals in Boston. Jenna was out of town and safe on vacation with her family. I’m grateful to my own guardian angels for keeping me and my loved ones out of the city on that horrific day as well. The Boston Marathon is the type of event we would all normally be at – but for different reasons – we weren’t. I’m spooked, shaken, and lucky.
I was glued to the news like many of you. I contacted my supervisors and was briefed with details from our medical center. I was told to return back to work on Tuesday and to expect delays in my morning commute.
From that first quiet morning, I could tell the city of Boston was different. Aside from having to show a man in uniform my ID to cross a street near the crime scene, or the overflowing piles of flowers, signs, and American flags, and the armed forces patrolling public transportation, there’s a different feeling in the air. It’s now been three days since Boston was rocked at its core. There was no warning; no sign that simply as passersby, we too would feel the loss.
As we watch friends embrace on the sidewalk and large crowds of people standing absolutely silent, we feel it. I restrain myself from approaching and shaking the hands of runners in their blue and yellow Marathon jackets who wander around the barricaded finish line with puzzled eyes. I wonder… Did you finish? Were you here when it happened? Did you just come from a hospital? I hope that these runners can recover, physically and mentally.
As a community, we share the same grief, half-smile, heavy heart, and unspoken words. And at the same time, we share resiliency. I can tell you that the acts of kindness, “pay it forwards,” #PrayforBoston’s, #RunforBoston’s and overwhelming signs of support in and outside the city have been amazing. In a time of despair, it’s truly inspiring to see how friends, families, colleagues, neighbors, and cities rally around and support one another. From “Sweet Caroline” playing at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night, to blood donations, strangers welcoming runners into their homes, and the National Anthem at last night’s Bruins’ game, it’s been remarkable to watch people ban together.
But perhaps the biggest inspiration of all comes from those directly involved. The heroic acts we watched on TV give us hope for the future of mankind. First responders, health care professionals, city officials, families, and recovering patients have been unbelievably calm. They share the same feeling, “I’m lucky to be alive.”
Yet, we’re left with that question… How could someone do this?
The sadness… heart break… devastation… disbelief… for many of us, those feelings are turning into anger and outrage. It’s been said that whoever did this didn’t know the city of Boston. While unanswered questions and confusion remain as some of us try to return back to our “normal” routines, we’re experiencing a mix of unsettling emotions; most importantly, a shared sense of pride.
Mayor Menino said at the interfaith service today, “Nothing can tear down the resilience of this city.”
The turmoil is not yet over, but we will carry on. President Obama said in his own uplifting speech this morning that the entire country stands behind Boston. He said that whether you’ve been here for one day or for many years, there’s a piece of Boston in all of us. And it’s true. It was the home of our Founding Fathers. It’s the home to many of us now. We’ll carry on as a community, a city, and a country. People will return for the 118th Boston Marathon next year, and will race harder and cheer louder than ever.
Our hearts ache for those suffering, making us fight on. We will not let the terrorist win; but instead, we’ll support our injured neighbors, pick up the pieces, and give back to our community. We will overcome this and we will prevail. As we hold candles at vigils, each other’s hands and hope, we hold pride – and that’s what you feel in the city of Boston – our pride and determination to carry on.