Thursday, April 18, 2013

Boston Strong

I am from Boston. It’s where I grew up, where my family and most of my friends live. It is where my heart is, where my soul is, and it made me who I am. No matter how long I am away, Boston will always be “home.” I am, and have always been, proud to hail from Beantown.

Bostonians don’t have the reputation for being particularly modest. We are tough, mostly blue collar people, who work hard and play harder. We are a proud people – lest anyone ever go into a Boston bar and say something as sinful as “Go Yankees.” We support our sports teams and our politicians with unabashed loyalty, and we are proud of our heritage.

Being from Boston is like a fraternity; no matter where you go, you undoubtedly find someone else from Boston, and are instant buddies. You may have never met, but you share a past. 

Saying that Monday’s events shook me is a gross understatement. Seeing the terror at the Boston Marathon, happening in my hometown, shook me to my core. I’ve been right where the bombs went off, hundreds of times. I knew people who were right there when it happened. Luckily, no one I knew was gravely injured, but in a town like Boston, the loss of Martin Richard, Krystle Campbell and Lingzi Lu, who was in Boston studying at my alma mater, hurts us all on a personal level.

When I was a student at Boston University, we referred to Marathon Monday as “the happiest day of the year.” Every Patriot’s Day the town of Boston shuts down to all except sports; the Red Sox play a day game, the marathon takes place in the streets from Hopkinton, up Heartbreak Hill, and down to Boylston St., and the Bruins play a game that night. It’s our Mardi Gras, our New Years Eve. It’s a day everyone in Boston looks forward to each year; it’s a day that we celebrate being from Boston.

What happened Monday does not change that. The Marathon will forever have the scar of the lives lost and the bodies maimed, but we will not let it take away our spirit. We are Boston and we are proud – forever.
With tears in our eyes, we will sing the National Anthem louder than ever before; we will honor an 8-year-old by hanging his hockey jersey over the statue of Bobby Orr; we will never forget those lost, and we will not let those who did this get away with it.

Because if I know one thing for sure about Bostonians, it's that we are tough and we will overcome. Like everyone from Boston, I believe in my town – we always have, and we always will. Boston is a tough and resilient town, and so are its people. We are Boston, and we are strong.