As many of you know, I live in Boston. So much has been made of the anniversary of the marathon bombings in the last few days that it has me thinking….
What it truly means to be a survivor. Of course we know that those who were actually at the finish line are survivors. They were at ground zero and will carry in their hearts and minds the images of that day.
Then you have all of those runners still on the course who were stopped as the confusion set in. They were not running for prizes, but for personal triumphs and now a once safe event has been forever marred. Will they take to the course this year with a little trepidation?
The days after the bombings and the shoot out in Watertown, saw survivors too. My mind goes to the poor carjack victim who ran for his life at the first opportunity. He wakes up each day, but does he go to his car? Does he drive the same route to and from work? The police and EMT workers who came to both events, did they realize what was happening. What about the strangers who could do no more at the finish line so they walked to the nearest hospital to give blood. Are they survivors?
Many a warm spring day since I have spent on Newbury and Boylston streets. I’ve eaten in the restaurants that were damaged, sat on the stairs of the Boston Public Library and wondered why violence has to be. Why innocent people have to pay for someone else’s hatred.
We will forgive, we will come back, the marathon next week will be well attended and restaurants like the Forum will be full. But, we will be slightly on our guard, now. Slightly more aware of those around us. Slightly more careful, because as a town, a community, a city we have all survived the senseless violence of that day.
Nothing has shaken our resolve, we won’t sit cowering in our houses saying “what if”, but we have lost that innocence. That “it can’t happen here” mentality. It is that common thread that weaves us together that makes us feel a kinship to those still struggling to recover one year later. It is that thread that makes us all survivors…just a little bit.