I went down to Boylston Street the day after the tragic events of the 117th Boston Marathon. The photos above are what I saw.
The Boston Marathon always takes place on Patriot’s Day here in Massachusetts, though most simply call it “Marathon Monday”. It’s a day when families come to cheer on the runners, Bostonians show off their city and students celebrate to excess. It’s a city-wide party and one of Boston’s greatest traditions. And Boston is a city of traditions, from singing “Sweet Caroline” at Red Sox games to watching the Fourth of July fireworks over the Charles River, Boston is built on tradition. It’s one of the reasons I fell in love with this city.
I moved here for college after having lived my whole life in Columbus, Ohio. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Ohio, Columbus, and the Midwest, it will always be my hometown and I will always enjoy being there, but it doesn’t live in my bones the way Boston does. Boston has a way of creeping under your skin and worming into your heart until you can’t remember a time where you didn’t love this old, confusing, mess of a town.
So while I will gladly read every uplifting story that has made its way to the press in the aftermath of this year’s marathon, I’m not at all surprised. This is a wonderful place filled with amazing people and for all the jokes made about Boston’s dislike of outsiders, this city will take care of those who need it. Standing on Arlington Street today, looking down towards a dirty, blockaded, police-filled Copley Square, I spoke to many marathoners who said that they’d never been in a place more welcoming, helpful, or kind. The world has seen Boston’s true colors, and boy were they beautiful. Boston may not always give you convenient public transportation or polite sports fans, but it will always be there for you when you need it.