Marathon Monday is a drinking holiday for college students in the Boston area, because the route of the Marathon makes it impossible for commuters and professors to get to campus. Last year, I remember walking into the Campus Center and seeing all of these people crowded around a TV, thinking ‘what are these nerds doing watching the news on Marathon Monday?!’, only to realize that this Marathon Monday would go down in history for all of the wrong reasons.
Those terrorists claimed to be acting on behalf of the innocent lives taken by the U.S. military in Muslim countries.
If you know me, you know I’m a patriot. You know that I love this country with every fiber of my being, with all of her flaws and all of her imperfections. As much as I support and love our troops, I don’t doubt for a second that while they’re overseas they may be forced to do things that they aren’t proud of. And as much as I grieve for any innocent life taken, regardless of origin, the solution to evil is never more evil. I’d bet my next paycheck that not a single life was spared overseas as a result of violence against the U.S.
I was forced to watch in horror during the longest week of my life as Boston locked down, and watch with pride as Boston emancipated itself from the clutches of terrorism. I was able to appreciate the miraculous world we live in to an extent that I never had, as everyone, everywhere stood with Boston.
As much as the rest of Boston and I appreciate the support and love we’ve received nationally as well as internationally, I don’t believe an outsider has any real perspective on what Boston really means. Boston is so much more than an attraction. Boston is more than Newbury Street or Faneuil Hall. Boston is a city of proud, hard working people, from the hippies in JP to the townies in Southie. As diverse as it’s population may be, the spirit of Boston is very much distinct. It’s more than an unwavering loyalty to your teams, choosing Dunkies over Starbucks because Starbucks is for yuppies, and an inherited obsession with Mahhhky Mahhk. It’s knowing who you are and what you stand for. It’s brave, and unapologetic. Boston is where the American dream comes true every day. Boston was strong before it was a hashtag, and it always will be.