Boston: A City Not Afraid
As most of us can recall, this time last year disaster struck during the Boston Marathon when two pressure cooker bombs exploded in the city leaving 3 people dead and 264 injured. When we look back at history after a tragic event such as this occurs we see the tendency to coward away from any potential danger. After the attacks on 9/11, many people did not feel comfortable flying anywhere and found alternative ways to travel. After school shootings, many people feel unsafe and will stay at home. It would only seem appropriate for the number of participants and spectators for the 2014 Marathon to decrease, but Boston will not succumb to this pressure.
With the participants gaining 9,000 more runners than last year and the spectators predicted to be around 1 million people, doubling last year’s count, we see this community coming together and fighting back. Their theme this year, “Boston Stands as One”, has encouraged many people to join forces and support their efforts to keep this marathon safe as well as have a successful turnout. Adidas has made t-shirts available for purchase with 100% of the proceeds going towards “The One Fund Boston” foundation which was started by Boston’s governor and mayor to help those affected by last year’s bombing.
(Purchase this t-shirt and other Boston Marathon support clothing here: http://www.adidas.com/us/boston-marathon/_/N-1z13ulu)
The B.A.A. had already reserved special spots for those injured in the bombing attacks but they soon realized they had not done enough. Many people, including a large majority who admit that they have never been runners in their life, have been begging to be allowed to run in the 2014 marathon in efforts to support last year’s attacks. They are using it as a way to cope with the emotional distress they were left with. In November 2013, the B.A.A. recognized this large group of potential participants and began accepting 250-word essays from over 1,000 people who wrote about their connection to the 2013 marathon. They were able to take about 600 of them to join the rest of the marathon runners this year during the 2014 Boston Marathon.
The obvious precautions have been updated and enhanced by the security in order to keep the area as safe as possible. Items such as strollers, glass containers, suitcases, backpacks, coolers, etc. are all prohibited from the venue. They understand that the public has not always reacted well to strict security rules but asks for cooperation for enhanced screening at various security checkpoints. Although this is a necessary step, the rest of the country still aims to make a statement that nothing will stop the community from continuing this event.
Tragedy struck this city last year and led many people to be connected to this event, directly or indirectly. Boston residents will be standing together during the 2014 Boston Marathon alongside of others from around the country who aim to defy the norms and stand up against these terrorist attacks. We can only hope that their message will be heard by those few who wish to gain attention through violent acts.