It never ceases to amaze me how resilient people are.
On Monday, April 15, our small state was struck by tragedy, as the finish line of the Boston Marathon, usually a place for celebration and congratulations, became a scene out of a person’s worse nightmare. In a matter of seconds, a day of happiness, a day to celebrate Massachusetts, became a day that will forever be imprinted in our memories.
All eyes turned to Boston as news slowly filtered out, and social media became the only way for people outside the city to find out if their friends and loved ones were okay, safe, alive. In the midst of all the horror, however, came the stories of the first responders, the brave people who ran towards the chaos as everyone else ran away.
These are the stories I choose to hold onto from Monday. The people who threw away all thoughts of their own safety in order to help others. The runners who finished the Marathon and ran straight to the hospitals to donate blood. The civilians who left the safety of their homes to offer sanctuary to exhausted runners who had nowhere else to turn. When talking about what happened with people outside of the state, these are those are the stories I emphasize. Focus on the good that still exists, and not giving the evil the attention it desires.
These are the stories that deserve to be remembered. When we looked back on this day, remember the tragedy that took place and the lives that were lost. But more importantly, remember that as a community, the people of Boston stood together and stood strong, proving there is, in fact, still good in the world. Even when it doesn’t seem like it.
It seems crazy to think that it’s already been a year.
I wrote the above in a semi-dazed state in the early hours of Thursday morning, April 18, 2014 — three days after the bombing, before the bombers led the police on a hide-speed chase (which would happen roughly twelve hours later, ending early Friday night). I wrote this while I was still trying to process what had happened — that our state, my state, my home, had, in a matter of hours, gone from a sanctuary to a nightmare.
I wrote this for my school paper (of which I was Op/Ed editor at the time), both to process my own thoughts on everything, as well as to remind anyone who read it that despite everything, there was still hope — still a light in this world, in the form of the people who were brave enough to step up after everything went to hell.
So why am I saying all this now? Why am I rehashing a silly Op/Ed a wrote a year ago? Because to me, what I said above still stands. I remember all the horrible things that happened, but more to the point I remember the good that came out of that day, if there could ever be any. The police and the firemen, the soldiers who weren’t even there on duty but dove in anyways, the runners and civilians who helped without any thought — they just did it because they knew it was the right thing to do.
I want to remember the good in the world. Even when it seems to be at its darkest.