A friendly, photographic reminder of who should be inspiring the little girls of today.
After the bombings on Monday, I spent some time in the afternoon at the Esplanade, Boston’s premiere running and biking trail. There is an area along the path with a large area of grass that I often come to and sit and ponder life. It was especially meaningful to come there on the Tuesday after the bombings because it felt like everyone was, in one way or the other, seeking peace outdoors. Something I found incredibly inspiring were the chalk messages left all along the path. I watched for the person responsible for them, and finally saw a woman walking up and down, writing things on the path. I called out to her, asking if she had more chalk. She told me she had stashed a bunch of piece of chalks all along the sidewalk for other people to add their own messages. I quickly joined in writing different tidbits of encouragement, and once I finished I sat and observed as people walked by.
It made my heart leap with joy when I saw someone stop to read or take a picture. All I could hope for would be to encourage someone somehow, and remind them of the hope that was rising from this city’s ground.
Last night was a night of joy and celebration for the entire country but especially for the city of Boston.
After a long week of mourning and healing, searching and investigating, lots of fear and uncertainty, the suspect of the Boston Marathon bombings has been found and captured, alive but in serious condition. And after a long week of lockdown, the residents of Boston finally were released from their emotional and physical prison, flooding the streets in utter joy and celebration.
I am proud to say I was part of that group. The mob mentality was overwhelming – the words “We got him” made me want to scream and shout with joy and relief. I and several friends took to the streets of Boston, bursting with joy and so thankful for a chance to finally escape my dorm. We stood on the side of Commonwealth Avenue, waiting for the sounds of sirens to pass us so we could applaud them as they turned in after a long week’s work. We decided to walk toward Kenmore Square and we sought some place to be with people and unite in the victory. We heard chants of “USA” and “Boston Strong” coming from a small group of boys holding an American flag, parading grandly around Kenmore Square. Naturally, we decided to join them. And the movement grew. And grew. What started as about twelve people grew to thousands upon thousands of Bostonians, marching together to the Boston Common.
We walked the entire stretch of Commonwealth Avenue from Kenmore to the Common, chanting, cheering, singing and celebrating. Every time we saw a police car or officer, we cheered even louder. We wanted to honor those who so bravely had dedicate their lives to protecting us.
Once we reached the end of Commonwealth Avenue where it ends and the Common begins, we flooded the streets. Hundreds of college students and other Bostonians, cheering. We blocked traffic and surrounded a cop car that was in the street, assembling around it, cheering and chanting. Several people gave hugs and thanked the officers. One officer got out the car, beaming, tears in his eyes, so in awe of the Boston pride. And I was there, at the front of the crowd (see picture above, taken from the home page of the New York Times), cheering for the man who represented bravery, courage, honor and protection.
It was one of the most incredible moments I’ve had in Boston. I have never felt more connected to my city and its people. I am so proud to call Boston my home.