On Monday, Boston, New England and really the entire country came together to celebrate the Boston Marathon.
One year has passed since the senseless, tragic events of the 2013 Marathon cost some their lives, others their limbs, and still more their minds.
This was hardly the first violent event that took place at a sporting event. The Olympics are occasionally a hot-bed for malicious and sometimes terrorist activities. There are regularly stories about parents are youth events, on up through the professional ranks, getting into physical altercations.
This was different though. The fights at sports are often fueled by the competition. This was different, and it changed everything.
At this time last year, I was living in Sterling, Mass, a small town just north of Worcester. I worked full-time in the marketing department of a software company and freelanced for various publications on the side.
On Marathon Monday, I was working from home, watching the race on television. I had my laptop open and a few browser tabs tracking friends I knew were running. Then, I was reheating leftovers for a late lunch and my Twitter feed spiked with information about an explosion near the finish line.
Like everyone else, my first thoughts were of family I had in Boston. My uncle and cousin go in every year to watch the finishers. My older brother works for the Boston Police Department and his fiancé attends Harvard.
The next few hours were spent in a suspended state of agony worrying and waiting to hear from someone, anyone to tell me people were all right.
I finally heard from my parents that Ryan and Katherine were fine. Uncle Billy and Andy had made their way towards the T a few minutes before the first bomb. Everyone was fine, but really nobody was fine.
I was 50 miles away, and I wasn’t fine.
In the days that past, leading up to and extending past the shoot-out and man-hunt in Watertown, a lot of people took stock of things. My thoughts were with what I was doing at the time. Sitting on my couch on a Monday afternoon, working as a contractor at the software company, not really doing anything that mattered.
Not doing anything that mattered nearly as much as what my older brother had been doing, pulling double shifts at the BPD’s Intelligence Center trying to find the bad guys and give Boston, New England and really the entire Country some closure.
A couple months later, I was preparing to move out to Berkshire County to start this job and help launch The Berkshire Courier.
I’m further from Boston now, but this past Monday brought up all those memories. Nothing made me happier or more worried than watching my brother leave Easter early to head back to work in Boston Sunday night into the events of Patriots Day. I’m proud of him, but continually frightened.
Seeing the Courier’s Twitter feed send out updates on all those Berkshire County runners throughout Monday was a great experience. It reminded me of how far the Boston community stretches. We can be Boston Strong even out here in Berkshire County.
I’m further from Boston now, but really we’re all closer to the city that hubs this region and I couldn’t be prouder.