Today is a day that reminds us all that we are mortals. Potent. And that our way of life, our ideas, and the things we hold sacred, are under attack from people who just don't see it that way.
Last year, at 2:49 P.M. EST, two Chechen terrorists set off a pair of pressure cooker bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing 3 and injuring hundreds. After a shooting spree that left a MIT police officer dead and several police injured, as well as one of the terrorists, a massive manhunt ensued in the city of Boston, effectively shutting down the city, until the other punk could be apprehended. He eventually was, making instant heroes of the Boston PD and the city in general.
What followed in the coming weeks was nothing short of incredible and inspiring. Runners everywhere ran with purpose. The Boston Marathon, viewed in the mainstream as "crazy", was suddenly respected and commended. The phrase "Boston Strong" entered our lexicon, and everyone in America knew what the number "617" meant. Blue and yellow ribbons, the colors of the BAA were worn by runners and non-runners alike. The National Anthem once again carried weight, as did the American flag. Bruins fans expressed their appreciation. David Ortiz fired off an impassioned speech that shows how much that city has an effect on people who call it or who have called it home.
When the dust had settled, like with any tragedy, the conspiracy theories flowed and the passion that engulfed the nation calmed down. Rolling Stone featured the younger brother on its cover, pleading with us to understand this lost individual. I did a blog post on it, calling out a friend for him supporting both the terrorist and RS.
Today though, there isn't room to point fingers. This isn't about the terrorists. This is about the Boston Marathon. This is about that awful day. A day that struck fear in all of us, bringing back images of 9/11. It's a day to remember.
I was on the phone with T, and we both observed the moment of silence at 2:49 pm. Even thinking about it now brings tears to my eyes. I keep thinking about the beauty that came out of that day. The runners who ran to donate blood. The spectators that helped out others, even though they were injured themselves. The increase in interest in the race itself.