The Power of Numbers – #BostonStronger
Over the past week the City of Boston, as well as the world, has been reflecting on the events of last year. The Boston Marathon 2013 was marred by two bombs that not only killed but severely injured many people, eventually putting the city in lockdown before that suspects were caught. It was highly emotional for all.
I was gardening when my son, Michael, called me that afternoon to ask what was going on at the Marathon. He had been underground on the Green Line, heading back home from spending a good portion of the day at the Marathon. The train had been stopped for 30 minutes and by the time they exited the station, law enforcement was moving groups out of Boston. “Just keep walking!” as they pushed riders down the street away from Boston. As I turned on the TV, I watched in horror as the bombs went off. At that point, I told Michael, “Just stay with the crowd and we will figure out how to get you home later.” At that point, the MBTA was shut down and all movement stopped in Boston.
I eventually told him to find a bar, sit down, have a drink and watch the TV. That would keep him up-to-date with what was going on. As he later described the bar, it was eerily quiet and people stared in disbelief in what had unfolded. The patrons were texting their families, sharing phone chargers and asking if anyone needed a place to stay. In the midst of chaos, people wanted to help.
Later that night, with the trains up and running, Michael arrived back home a bit shaken. I completely forgot that he was my 11 year old who watched the towers get hit on 9-11 as we were enjoying a family vacation in Disney World. As we evacuated Epcot Center and returned to our hotels, we became inundated with images of planes hitting the towers as the country went into lockdown. What were we going to do about getting home? One of the flights was from Boston. We had 5 days to figure it out, were we really going to have to fly? I can’t imagine being a child and trying to make sense of this, let alone, getting back on a plane. As we got ready for take off, I will always remember the fear on his face as he said, “I don’t think I can do this” and me saying “Close your eyes, take a deep breath, we will be home soon”. Truthfully, I was as nervous as he was.
The Friday after the marathon, Watertown went into lockdown. Michael was attached to the news feed. “Mom, that was where I walked to…that was where I sat in the bar…”
A little bit scary to think of where you were and where the enemy was.
It’s sad that this generation has grown up with these bombings and the way it effects our lives. Think of going to the airport, federal buildings…the Marathon. Heavy security and lock down as we try to avoid these types of events from happening again. As many events unfolded this week, we learned more about the stories of hope and determination for those who were injured as well as those who were inspired to become involved by the event. It is many people, coming together to make a difference. Look at the Marathon – all the runners, all the volunteers, all the supporters, all the fans and all the donations…the power of numbers. People truly do care!
Michael came home from Philadelphia to attend the Marathon yesterday. He said he walked all over the city. The two pictures below were taken by him. He really liked the messages of encouragement that were left in sheets on the Boston Common. He wished that he could have signed one of the squares. For me, that really sealed today’s tip of the day – there is POWER in numbers. Anyone who attended the Marathon or spent time in Boston over the weekend will attest to that. It was a time of healing. For many people it was a time to revisit where they were the year before and know that they were safe. I believe that was part of what Michael needed.
The marathon was exciting as well as successful. Why? The power of numbers. As a team we can do so much for others because we are Boston Strong and forever #BostonStronger.