I have been thinking about all the things to say about a whole year gone by of life, but none of them really sums it up like Steve Silva's video of the Boston Marathon bombings. Watch it to see the joy of the day, followed by the horror, then watch as members of the Boston Police Department and other first responders run toward where the bombs went off. Toward it. Watch them manually rip down the barriers meant to keep the crowd off the street so the runners can run so they can get to them. Watch medical people run from the medical tents after the finish line back to the spot. And finally watch out Steve Silva doesn't once try to take a salacious, graphic shot of the injured. Bravo. Disclaimer, as in the Boston Globe: This is raw, unedited footage. It is not for everyone.
These poor Marathon volunteers who earlier probably thought the hardest part of the gig that day would be donning that hideous yellow jacket, not keeping journalists away and I have to imagine at some point, family members.
I was about a mile away, in Kenmore having just come out of the Red Sox game (and I would be remiss to not mention Napoli hit a walk off that day). We were SO happy, until the minute we went came out on the Comm Ave side of the Kenmore T stop and were walking by a line of parked police motorcycles. Suddenly one of the them yelled into his shoulder: major explosion.. everyone roll out. And the police came from everywhere. It was an impressive and terrifying display. We then watched police stream in from municipalities near and far. I asked twitter to tell me why and sadly, it did. In real, terrifying, time.
Four days later my city, a major US city, went on lockdown. Lockdown. Amazing. Terrifying. I stayed up all night the night of the chase/gunfight. TV, laptop, ipad and cell phone going. I watched a gun fight on live tv. I watched tanks and men in swat gear walk down the streets of a place ten minutes from where I grew up. It was surreal and still somewhat unbelievable to me even now. That same we we had a reorg at work and my job was eliminated. It did not seem to matter anywhere near as much (it still consider it to be the least important thing to happen that week, though I did end up landing on my feet).
Boston is my home. Patriot's Day is one of my favorite days of the year. I know much has been written, discussed, and analyzed about this event by people more eloquent than I, but this was personal. Not as personal as for the three lives lost that day or Thurs night, or for any of the multitude of injured, but it hurt, it really, really hurt. That hurt is only tempered by the site of those first responders going toward it, of the site of catching the guy and the pride in seeing the people who came out of their homes after being locked down all day to line the street to applaud the police.
Then there was Papi (I'm writing this wearing a 'This is our fucking city' t-shirt) and the Red Sox. The little, bearded team that could. These are the two things I will take away from this year. What others should take away is: This IS our fucking city, do NOT mess with us. I couldn't be more proud, nor do I have any desire to live anywhere else (even though tomorrow we're looking at 12+ inches of snow). I was on Boylston St. the first night it re-opened (and I have the picture of Anderson Cooper to prove it). I was at Fenway the first game we could get tickets for and will absolutely be back there for next year's Patriot's Day game.