I remember watching the coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings last year feeling frightened and horrified for those affected, but at a loss for any real connection with the tragedy. Sadly the bombings at that time felt like just another in what has become a continuous string of terrorist attack scenarios. And then a few things changed for me. The Navy Yard shooting occurred September 16, 2013. I'm not sure I've felt more fear than that morning with Stella in lockdown at her school and an active shooter with motives unknown just blocks from my front door. On September 11, 2001 I was working just 2 blocks from the U.S. Capitol. At that time terror was relatively unknown and everyone I knew reached out to know my well being. A decade later I found myself feeling not only fear, but anger that I didn't hear from many in my family. Like it was all too normal to have such terror in your life.
A few months after the Navy Yard shooting Jason, Stella, me and many in our family lined the streets of Cozumel, Mexico to cheer on my brother's accomplishments as an Iron Man. At one point in the afternoon a rag tag marching band made their way through the crowds of spectators. I didn't say anything, but it triggered a moment of panic in me that connected with the Boston Marathon bombings…and shortly after that I knew I would run a marathon.
Today is Patriot's Day and the first running of the Boston Marathon since last year's bombing. Today I understand the love, the pride, the sacrifice, the attention, the dedication, the pain, etc. both the runners and spectators feel. On what was by every other measure a typcial training run today I found tears in my eyes thinking of the victims and survivors of last year's bombing. How awesome to watch the first American male win the race today since 1983, to know the stories of so many survivors crossing the finish line today, and to be reminded of the constant vigilance of our police and military in what is an ongoing war on terrorism.
We are all Boston Strong. Forever in our hearts.