#BostonStrong

Dear E,

This week has been a hellish week.

On Monday it was the Boston Marathon. My friends and I woke up early in the morning to a day of perfect weather and tons of potential. We walked across the bridge to Boston and towards our sorority house, which is about mile 22 of the marathon. There we watched some of the most elite runners in the world run by us. We then went to UBurger where we chowed down on some delicious food and then we headed towards the Prudential Center, which is right next to the end of the finish line. On the way we stopped at a frat, where a couple of our friends live. The boys were playing cornhole and grilling and everyone was just hanging out and drinking and eating and laughing and chatting. We stood at mile 26 for a solid hour. We were at a corner so we would see masses of runners, running by.

It was CRAZY. The energy was incredible E. It was amazing. I saw all those runners going by and the tens of thousands of people cheering for complete strangers and it just made my heart so, so happy. We were standing at mile 26, but it seemed like we were standing at mile 1. The runners were flying by like it was nothing. I remember saying something like, “All 27,000 of these people are my heroes.” And they are. I think thats the thing about marathons. Here are these every day normal kind of people. They’re our friends and our neighbors and sisters and brothers and mothers and fathers and they’re running fucking 26.2 miles. At one point we tried to go to the finish line by following the marathon trail but it was way too crowded. The streets were literally packed and we couldn’t even move. So we headed back to a frat house an chilled there for awhile and watched the marathon and chatted.

After a while, my roomie K and I as well as two more of our friends decided that we were going to get to the finish line even if it took us forever because we were determined to see all the faces of the runners at the end. Because we live in Boston we kind of know the ins and outs of the city so we took a detour of sorts and ended up walking down Boylston street and towards the finish line. There were SO MANY PEOPLE, E, it was crazy. Here are some pictures from the day.

image

The end of the flags is where the finish line is.

image

This is mile 26.

image

This is on Boylston street. You can see how packed it is.

All I can say from here is that I am so glad that we left when we did. About 20-30 minutes after we left the finish line, the bombs went off. My friends felt and heard the explosion and there was mass panic and confusion and chaos. Three people were killed and 60-70 people were injured. This is so saddening and heartbreaking and tragic, but in all the midst of the chaos has arisen a huge sense of community from Boston. I’ve gotten so many calls and texts and emails and Facebook messages from everyone back home asking if I’m okay.

Throughout this time this quote has popped up a lot and I love it. “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news my mom would always say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’  To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mothers words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers–so many caring people in this world.” And man, were there helpers. People ran toward the explosion to help the wounded. Runners handed each other jackets, photographers walked through blood while holding back their own tears to capture the moment, and people performed CPR at the risk of being bombed again. Police officers and doctors and medics swarmed the scene of the crime. Marathon runners finished the marathon and then ran an extra two miles straight to Mass General Hospital to donate blood. People created google docs so loved ones could find one another. And that’s what my city is E. That’s who we are.

Here’s a link to what Stephen Colbert had to say about it….it’s pretty funny.

http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/425527/april-16-2013/intro—4-16-13

“But here’s what these cowards really don’t get,” Colbert said. “They attacked the Boston Marathon, an event celebrating people who run 26 miles on their day off until their nipples are raw for fun. … When those bombs went off, there were runners who, after finishing a marathon, kept running for another two miles to the hospital to donate blood. So here’s what I know: these maniacs may have tried to make life bad for the people of Boston, but all they can ever do is show just how good those people are.”

There were statuses posted everywhere like this

image

Tuesday was a day of reflection and worry. Everyone making sure everyone was okay and trying to figure out who did this and what was going on.

Thursday I had two tests, so I basically spent ALL of Wednesday and Thursday studying as much as possible. Thursday night I finished my last test at about 9:30 and I walked back from the Stata Center by myself. My friends and I were glad that our hellish week was just OVER so we decided we were going to go out. Literally RIGHT as we are walking out of the door of our dorm we get an email saying to stay away from Stata Center because there’s been a shooting. So of course we are all freaking out. Another disaster? In the same week? We didn’t know if the bombing and the shootings were connected. We wake up the next day and school has been cancelled because the entire city of Boston was on lockdown. My friends and I spent a good chunk of yesterday listening to the news and tweeting/facebooking, etc. I got so many calls and texts and facebook messages again, and I feel so lucky to have such caring amazing friends and family.

image

Unfortunately at the shooting an MIT police officer was killed. We hope that rests in peace and we all know we owe our safety to him. He and his family will be in our thoughts.

The entire city was put on lock down so that the police could find the other bomber. It looked like this:

http://www.businessinsider.com/eerie-photos-of-boston-looking-like-a-ghost-town-2013-4

There were tweets like this:

“Boston is probably the only major city that if you fuck with them, they will shut the entire city down…strop everything…and FIND YOU.” -happygilmore

Articles like this:

http://labs.huffingtonpost.com/highlights/quote/8322586/

” I started to notice the men and woman, civilians mostly, tearing down that fence and barrier with their bare hands as they, without hesitation, ran toward the area where those bombs went off. Toward the area. Not away. Toward the wounded, tearing their own clothes to make tourniquets, soaking their own pant legs in the blood flowing down the streets and mixing with the blood of our Revolutionary ancestors, not turning away from death. Their instincts were to save their fellow humans.”

“There are only a few other places on earth that I would expect to see these acts of bravery, like I saw on Monday. New York City, you will always be in my heart, but Boston, I have your back. Thanks for having mine. This week, you showed me what it means to love your city, love your people, love your heritage and above all, what it means to be human first, Bostonian second, American third.”

or this article

http://goodmorninggloucester.wordpress.com/2013/04/17/jim-dowd-responds-to-the-attack-on-the-boston-marathon/

“This place will kick the screaming piss out of you, come up with a cure for having the screaming piss kicked out of you, give it to you for free, then win a Nobel prize for it and then use the medallion to break your knuckles. See what I’m talking about?”

They found him E.

They got him.

The city is no longer on lockdown.

Last night thousands of people gathered in Boston Commons to celebrate. People were singing the national anthem and chanting bostonstrong, USA, and BPD.

I’ll close with this video from Obama.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obama-every-one-of-us-stands-with-you/2013/04/18/62d669b6-a838-11e2-8302-3c7e0ea97057_video.html

“We finish the race, and we do that because of who we are, and we do that because we know that somewhere around the bend, a stranger has a cup of water. Around the bend, somebody’s there to boost our spirits. On that toughest mile, just when we think that we’ve hit a wall, someone will be there to cheer us on and pick us up if we fall. We know that. We know that.”

Proud to be a Bostonian and proud to call Boston and MIT my home away from home,

-P

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “#BostonStrong

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s