A year ago today, crowds swelled the Copley Square section of Boylston Street in Boston's Back Bay, remarking on the picture-perfect weather as they watched Marathon runners triumphantly cross the finish line. Could there possibly be a more glorious day?
Suddenly, two explosions shattered the celebration, leaving about 264 people seriously injured and three people dead. "Devastated" seems like a trite description for our city's emotional condition that afternoon and evening as we witnessed such a cruel example of human depravity, but no other word speaks with more accuracy. We all felt sorrow. We all felt shock. We all felt outrage.
And we all felt a new strength that we call Boston Strong.
Two young Muslim boys from Russia thought they could break Boston through their act of jihad, only to unite the city. The makeshift memorial that grew in Copley Square during the ensuing days testified to our determination to let the tragedy strengthen us.
Yesterday, John and I wheeled through Copley Square, noticing the media presence and police security in preparation for today's memorial ceremonies. From there, we went to the Boston Public Library to see the exhibit, "'Dear Boston: Messages from the Marathon Memorial." Although I sobbed from the memories of destruction and suffering that should never have happened, I also felt proud of my adopted city.
I've made a video from the photos John took yesterday as a tribute to the Boston Strong spirit: