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Paul Ruth Headshot

The Boston Marathon Is a Light of Hope

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Tragedy has a way of drawing attention to a particular occurrence and the circumstances that surround it. The Boston Marathon bombings is one of those acts of terror that will become synonymous with the event for years to come. In essence, this is what terrorism is designed to do. Yet as a state celebrated its past through Patriots' Day and its present through the race, our attention must be focused on the future with the remembrance held within the mission of the heart.

The marathon is put on annually by the Boston Athletic Association every year, which itself is a nonprofit promoting healthy living with a direct focus on the youth. Not only does the race provide inspirational stories of athleticism as America's premier marathon, it holds its Relay Challenge which allows young students the opportunity to compete as part of the larger event. Through the sport of running, the BAA is committed to the local, national and international community as being an American beacon shining what the human endurance is capable of. Still the real impact is the charity program that started in 1989. Every year since, the marathon has partnered with charities of all kinds to raise about $11 million dollars annually for approximately 30 different organizations.

The city of Boston was founded on the ideal that on this land people can do better. Patriots' Day is the remembrance of the beginning to realize the betterment of society and to believe that power lies within the people and the labor they possess. The Boston Marathon has come to exemplify the very notion of what allows freedom to ring even at times of great sorrow. It is the nature of the event that allows freedom for people to congregate for a shared purpose, the freedom to test physical endurance upon one's own will, and the freedom to fund-raise for spectacular causes of good.

Yet as much as a marathon race can be compared to life, loss, and liberty, it falls short of the true run this nation faces. Outside of the metaphor, this race doesn't have a finish line and sometimes reminds us of the shared responsibility that comes with freedom. There is a justice that must be fulfilled and a power that must be realized. Terror is meant to cause fear and panic, but people must regain the power terror makes one to forget, even if momentarily. We regain the power to remember and honor, to combat injustice, the power to collectively re-envision the ideal and take this period of dimming light and let it shine a brighter beacon casting shadows out wherever they may hide.

It is now a time for a nation to mourn, yet to know true righteousness lies ahead in the enduring race for a better world. The loss of life and the many injured will always be a part of the greatest American race because it will fuel the drive to continue raising money for causes, continue collecting as a community, and continue to lead by example for a nation and a world. In its past and through its present, the Boston Marathon is destined to prove the most pure form of American endurance.