A year has passed since the tragic bombings on Boylston Street and I am still in disbelief that it ever even happened. Evil maimed bodies, shed blood, and ended lives in a place so public and so innocent on a day so sacred and so meaningful. If you walk down Boylston Street today, it would seem as if nothing has changed. And yet, everything has. The memory is stained, embedded, and forever lurking in our collective consciousness. One year later, I find myself having fewer answers and asking more questions.
How could it be? How could it be that evil could make itself known just a few feet away from Old South Church, one of Boston's most architecturally beautiful sacred spaces? How could it be that evil ended lives and wounded bodies on a day so bright, so beautiful, so crisp, and so full of promise? How could it be that I was not at the finish line on that day, at that hour, cheering on the runners with the gathered crowds in a place so familiar, so comfortable, and so much like home? How could it be?
Evil has no explanation. Evil has no justification. If we try to search for answers, we will become bitter, overcome with resentment, and paralyzed by fear. Evil has a way of gripping, binding, and hindering the human spirit.
This year, people from all walks of life and of every age will faithfully line the streets to cheer for the runners as they make their way to the finish line. The crowds will be bigger, the cheering will be louder, and the emotion, passion, and energy will be more palpable than ever before. This is the "miracle" of Marathon Monday - that nothing, not even bombs that take lives, fragment flesh, shatter bone, or spill blood can hinder the resilience of the human spirit. Marathon Monday is living proof to us that evil does not, cannot, and will not ever, ever, ever have the last word.
If you do not believe in the miracle of resurrection, a trip to Boston on Marathon Monday will be all the evidence you need. There, you will find the spirit of those we lost one year ago alive with each mile that is ran, with each cup of water that is handed to a parched runner, with each smile that is shared, each laugh that is had, each sign that is made, and each cheer that is exclaimed.
This is Boston getting stronger. We are Boston strong.