On April 15, 2013, the world watched as the unthinkable occurred at the Boston Marathon. It was four hours, ten minutes, and forty-five seconds into the event when two well-planned and sequenced sloppy bombs ignited death and devastation at the finish line. With the detonation came a wave of terrorism resulting in exploding eardrums and shrapnel penetrating limbs, causing horrifying bleeding, trauma, and loss of life. Probably the largest team of emergency medical personnel at any athletic event in history leaped into action, prepared for the worst. They were able to save life and limb.
I am sure that the terrorists considered how significant and iconic the finish line of a marathon is and, in specific, the finish line of the Boston Marathon—iconic, deeply American, the best of the best. But, this highly symbolic act of terror did not break our spirits. At this terrible moment, the best of what we are as a country and as a people—survivors!—emerged. The city was rocked but responded with a will and determination. The consistent message from the president, to the governor, to the mayor, to each citizen, to every runner was the battle cry: "We will come back with an even stronger sense of will and determination."
Just one year later, at the 2014 Boston Marathon, we saw a city, a nation, and a world once terrorized now experiencing a paradox: greater numbers of runners showed up following the tragedy, each fortified by adversity and now more resilient than ever. This group of runners is a powerful manifestation of the victorious spirit. They have demonstrated to themselves and the world that they are survivors, that we are survivors, and that we will endure. It is our destiny! Go Boston strong!
Where were you when the 9/11 attacks and the Boston bombings happened? How did you and your friends and family keep your spirits strong in these times of tragedy?