The One-Year Anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombings
Leading up to this one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombings, there was numerous continuous coverage on the news, reminisces of the event itself, and how the lives of the rescuers and the rescued were forever changed by it. Boston hospitals encouraged people to leave messages on their enormous message boards in their front lobby or entrances to commemorate this tragic yet heroic day for Boston. The blue and yellow BOSTON STRONG signs were everywhere, especially near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Boylston Street.
The bombings touched me personally as I was one of the thousands of runners who did not complete the marathon that fateful day. The days leading up to the anniversary, my mind was filled with thoughts of the people who have been directly affected by this event and it was difficult to escape such intrusive thoughts as the news coverage was vast and incessant. I went to view the exhibits of the paraphernalia left by people at the makeshift memorial at Copley Square last year being displayed at the Boston Public Library with the hundreds of pairs of running shoes as the most powerful symbol of our resilience. The exhibitors noted, “…these shoes carry three layers of meaning. First, they are running gear, showing the wear form months of training. Second, they are good luck charms, with many bearing pre-race decorations designed to help their owner summon the motivation to run 26.2 miles. Finally, they are eulogies, symbolizing the complex emotions these runners felt after the bombing.”
There were messages from all over the world and poems of the inevitable arrival of spring after every winter; hopes for recovery and new and exuberant life after a long hard struggle against seemingly insurmountable obstacles. I was moved by the out-pouring of heart-felt warm wishes.
It was pouring on the day of the anniversary as though Mother Nature showed empathy for the remembrance of this day. The wind blew fiercely as I fought against it with my umbrella walking along Boylston Street towards the finish line of the Boston Marathon, the 118th which will take place in six days. Many Bostonians were already lining up along the street to mark the anniversary.
At precisely 2:49 pm, a moment of silence was observed, a silence that was shattered by the overwhelming outpouring of compassion and the display of courage and resilience of a grieving city and its people despite that tragic day.