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In Boston, New Meaning for April 15th

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Today in Boston, we remembered the dead. We cursed the cowards. And we honored those who ran towards the bombs.

A year later, we still don't really understand why some human beings would cruelly, casually, coldly kill other human beings. Why they would take away forever an 8-year-old. Or destroy a young woman who came here from China to learn. Or end the life of another young woman who had never done a thing to them.

So we cling to something more powerful -- the spirit in humans not to destroy, but instead to save. To help. To rush towards danger because it might preserve a life. It might save a child.

Again and again today here in Boston, we came together to dwell not on horror, but on heroism.

It leads one to wonder -- are we capable of such generosity of spirit only under special circumstances? Can we only see others in danger when we ourselves are close to danger?

In 2013, another 40 residents of Boston were slain. Another 246 Bostonians were victims of gunshots. Few ran to help them.

Will we come away from today's memorials and remembrances ready to run towards those who are in danger of similar violence in 2014? In 2015?

April 15th in Boston now means much more than tax day. It is a day to remember Boston Strong. To cherish the spirit that brought a city together to help the wounded, and to marvel at the courage of every day people.

But it can be, and must be, more. It can be a day when we do not just remember what people did in 2013 at a time of confusion and fear. It can be a day when we look ahead to what we will all do in 2014 and beyond.

To prevent one more murder, one more gang shooting, one more child lost to violence. To come together to say that the deaths that happen in some parts of the City are as terrible as the deaths on Boylston Street. If we do that, April 15th will have a truly lasting meaning.