On 04-18-2013 we had to be in Boston for the evening due to prior plans. It was with mixed emotions that we arrived in the city we love after what occurred at the Boston Marathon earlier in the week. We were unsure if it was safe. But we were not going to let fear stop us from living and surprisingly enough it appeared the resiliency of the Boston faithful felt the same way; as the city was active (but for the area around the finish line). It was good to be in the city again but it was surreal. It was, in fact eerie at times. But, as we walked through the city at night we were reminded of the deep history and courageous battles fought for freedom and the pride that grew from standing on our own and protecting our fellow man. We walked along Commonwealth Avenue with its rich historical buildings and magnolia lined streets. We travelled through Beacon Hill and its steep history. We took a small detour closer to the finish line but as we knew further access was barracaded and police protected. We understood and yet the feeling and sense of a city that was quiet was unnerving. News stations were set up along some of the back streets still broadcasting what news they received or perhaps attempting to fill in some of the gaps in the backstory. Memorials had been started and a chalk memorial of strength and well wishing was etched in the sidewalk. Although it was eery there was a huge sense of strength and pride that grew in us. Humanity still existed and it could not be broken. We walked and talked about the victims, the families, history, Boston, humanity and strength. It was truly emotional.
At one point we crossed through the Public Garden and stood in front of the equestrian statue of our country’s first president and founding father, George Washington. With the night skyline of Boston’s financial district in the background; the pride was palatable; it was intense. At first it was simply a stunning photo opportunity; but then it was as if the statue came alive and you could hear his battle cry. Although the quietness of the city lay as a background the stillness and power of George Washington as founder and protector stood there in the night as if to say “we are Americans, we are united, we stand tall and we stand strong, always”.
Less than a few blocks away the Marathon events took place and yet here was George Washington, draped in a cloak of the nighttime skyline of Boston proudly standing guard over the city. All the while the events we would later hear on the news of the continuation of the manhunt was unfolding no more than across the river from where we travelled.
The resiliency, sense of pride, country and community are awe inspiring at times; and humanity always seems to surprise us when you’d think our spirit would be broken. The question that always comes to mind in situations like this is “Why does it take something so tragic to bring us together and stand up for each other, our community and our country”?
LiFE is NOW…® let’s stand together in pride; always. Be America Proud.