24 Hours Later… and a Sincere Thank You

Finally I have some time to sit down and think about what happened at 2:50 p.m. on April 15th, 2013. The day I put in my phone’s countdown app as “MARATHON MONDAY!” The day now I will forever remember as that horrific Marathon Monday.

More than anything the last couple of days made me realize that nothing – no classes, professors or books – could have prepared me for my job, having to tell the story while everyone I love is in absolute misery in a city I love. And this is where my sincere thank you comes in. All those tweets, texts and messages kept me going, and knowing that so many people cared about not only my safety, but everyone else’s near me, I’m not sure how to express that in words.

As a Boston University alum, I still don’t understanding why this happened, and I hate that this happened. But at least now I know there are more good people out there than bad people, and that Boston doesn’t go down easy.

As soon as I heard about the twin explosions at the Boston Marathon finish line on Boylston Street, I dropped everything and ran. No second thoughts, I just started running. Of course about .75 mile into my run, I had to admit I was in no shape to run another .5 mile, so I hopped in a cab.

But regardless of how I got there, I got there. And saw chaos.

Confused runners. Police trying to get people out of the area. Volunteers directing people away from the finish line. Families looking for their loved ones. And amidst all the fear, the chaos, the frustration, emotional reunions.

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It’s hard to explain why I love Marathon Monday so much.

It’s one day that brings hundreds of thousands of people together, and the entire state shuts down, so people can go watch the race and celebrate together.

I always loved how you could stand next to a complete stranger along the marathon route and as if you’ve known each other for decades, you could cheer and laugh together. I loved how you could just scream on top of your lungs whatever sports team jersey or a state shirt the runner was wearing. Or you could even cheer for a runner who had his or her name written on their shirt in a sharpie.

And I think that’s going to be even more special next year. In fact, I’m already looking forward to Marathon Monday 2014.

This horrible tragedy killed three innocent people and injured more than 150. But it certainly didn’t break Boston’s spirits. It showed everyone around the world that Massachusetts is resilient. People love one another here. People care. People are proud of their state, and people are strong.

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So here’s to this resilient city that I fell in love with six years ago.

See you at the 118th Boston Marathon.

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