Today is a quiet day. I’m sitting here listening to the rain, trying to collect my thoughts on what happened one year ago today. Back in the summer of 2012, I remember sitting on the back deck of my brother’s new home in Newton. I watched as my toddler gleefully ran around that little fenced yard chasing bubbles. Carefree and full of giggles. Less than a year later, 2 miles up the road, the Boston Police Department and JTTF would be facing off with one of the most wanted men in Boston… a scumbag hiding in a boat in Watertown, who had cowardly bombed the Boston Marathon.
This blog may have Maryland in the name, but if you are familiar with my postings, you know my ties to Boston. The City of Boston is where the people I love most in this world call home. But this post isn’t about me, it’s not about the fear and panic I had that day when I heard the Boston Marathon was bombed…
It’s about the victims whose lives were lost… the survivors who have stayed strong this past year… the first responders who raced to the scene… the runners who ran the extra 2 miles after the finish line to donate blood at Mass General… the individuals who ran TO where the bombs went off to help the injured. Last but not least though, I want to take a moment to remember those who spent countless hours working on the manhunt to find the cowards who set the bombs off. Federal agents and the Joint Terrorism Task Force knew they had a new mission on their hands, and that become the number one priority. The FBI, along with ATF agents, the CIA, DEA agents, and the National Counterterrorism Center named their suspects and began their work.
The City of Boston shut down. Again, it shut down. The feds came in with a job to do, and the City understood. Along with police forces of Boston, the manhunt was over within days. One suspect dead, the other captured.
We’ll probably never know the names of these individuals who raced to Boston and worked around the clock. As the public, you will never see their names in magazines, or in news stories, on CNN or any Nightly News being applauded for their work and bravery. Honestly though, that’s not why they do the work they do. It’s not for recognition, it’s not for praise, but to keep America safe. You won’t see these agents up on a stage, in bright lights receiving medals for their contributions. Chances are that one day at work they’ll be called into a small room at an HQ, given a star/certificate/coin etc. They’ll go home, place it in a case, or in their desk drawer, or maybe even pass one of the items onto a friend or family. Then the next day they’ll go back to work, and continue to work towards the safety of this country.
So this is where I say THANK YOU. THANK YOU to the federal agents, the police, the responders, to everyone who assisted in the manhunt. Thank you thank you thank you. If you are reading this, I know you don’t do it to hear the public say thank you. But this is my blog, my post, and I’m going to say THANK YOU to you over and over again. Nothing but gratitude…
Let me switch gears on you though… This post isn’t just about how thankful and grateful I am to the federal agents and operatives that worked to find justice for Boston and the victims…
In September of 2013, 5 months after the bombing, I started running again. Over those several months, until I took a break during the winter, running became my outlet, my therapy, a time for me to think and just run. I don’t just run for me though. I run for my son, my family, my friends, and for the City of Boston. It’s to prove a point. Just because a bunch of cowards may try to stop you… keep you from doing something you love… doesn’t mean you must give into that fear. SHOW them they are wrong, SHOW them how STRONG you are.
This month I will participate in a couple of runs and races dedicated to the remembrance of the tragic events that occurred one year ago. Today specifically I really looked forward to running. As I look outside and see the rain pouring down, I tell myself that I’ll just have to run tomorrow… But you know what? Actually I don’t. Not even this weather will hold me back from something I WANT to do. And that’s run in honor of Boston.
So to end this post… I’ll leave you with Stephen Colbert’s (a Boston native) intro to the Colbert Report on April 16th, 2013, a day after the bombings. He’s right in his words. These cowards may have tried to make life hard for the City of Boston, but all they did was show the world just how STRONG Boston really is. Full transcript below.
Look, before we begin, I just want to take a moment to talk about the attack in Boston yesterday. Obviously our thoughts and our prayers are with everybody there. And as the President said, we don’t know who did this, but they will be found and they will be brought to justice.
But whoever did this, obviously did not know **** about the people of Boston—because nothing these terrorists do is going to shake them. For Pete’s sake, Boston was founded by the Pilgrims, a people so tough they had to buckle their goddamn hats on. It is the cradle of the American Revolution—a city that withstood an 86-year losing streak; a city that made it through the Big Dig, a construction project that backed up traffic for 16 years! There are commuters just getting home now. Even their bands are tough. It’s the hometown of Aerosmith who, in their fifth decade, are still going strong. Even Steven Tyler looks fantastic— for a 73-year-old woman.
But here’s what these cowards really don’t get: They attacked the Boston Marathon, an event celebrating people who run 26 miles – on their day off until their nipples are raw – for fun. And they have been holding it in Boston since 1897. And do you know how tough you have to be to run in a wale-bone corset? And when those bombs went off there were runners, who, after finishing a marathon, kept running for another two miles to the hospital to donate blood.
So, here’s what I know: These maniacs may have tried to make life bad for the people of Boston, but all they could ever do, is show just how good those people are.
Now. This is The Colbert Report.
Actually wait. Let me end this post on a different quote. A quote that pretty much embodies how Boston felt that day and after, thanks to Boston Red Sox’s Designated Hitter, David Ortiz, aka Big Papi…
This is our. . . city. And nobody is going to dictate our freedom.
Stay strong Boston… stay strong America. And just keep running.