4:09:44 – How Hope Got Sucker-Punched
Marathon Monday is my favorite day to be a Bostonian. Each year a core group of friends and I meet to have a too early drink and to celebrate our Opening Day. After enduring a long Boston winter Patriots Day gives the hope that only spring can provide, there’s an electricity in the air that is heavy with anticipation. After our drink we meander across the street into Fenway Park and marvel at our emerald jewel that’s dormant no more. The baseball season still has the fresh cut grass smell, and the hope of October glory isn’t an impossibility, but a tangible dream. After the game concludes, hopefully with a Red Sox win, 35,000 fans dissolve into the throngs of runners, supporters, and City dwellers as the magic of Patriots Day truly kicks off.
People all along the Marathon route are grilling, cheering on strangers, helping at water stations, partying with friends, and mingling amongst each other with smiles in full bloom. The true beauty of the day is encapsulated in these moments, strangers pulling for strangers, urging them to complete their own tangible dream, as they revel in the chimera that only Marathon Monday can create.
Yesterday at 4:09:44 hope took a sucker punch from a gutless and faceless enemy. The timing and placement of the bombs were targeted at everyday people – and honestly, I don’t think it’s all truly settled for me, I’m not even angry yet. My Wife and I decided to walk home after the game, cutting down Landsdowne, past Comm. Ave, and over the Mass Ave. Bridge. We got a sandwich at Flour and as we walked out ambulances were racing by – living in Central Square we weren’t too phased until we got home and turned the TV on. That’s when the texts, calls, Facebook messages, and tweets started pouring in. That’s when we started calling and texting friends to make sure they didn’t lose a leg or worse. That’s when my eyes welled up. That’s when hope fell to the ground.
Boston will recover, Patriots Day will go on, and hope will get back on its feet. But Boston won’t forget. Hope got sucker punched back in 1770 at the Boston Massacre and we reacted by overthrowing a King. I’m not urging violence of any kind here, just Justice. My favorite day will never be the same again, and neither will the lives of those poor Families. I choose to celebrate Boston today and to hold onto hope. There’s no song that better fits the mood and heart of Boston and Massachusetts than the Modern Lovers “Roadrunner” – and I’ll be blasting this in defiance the whole day, for Marathon Monday is my favorite day to be a Bostonian.