Marathon Monday is a Boston institution. No matter where you originally hail from, as soon as you become a student at BU, BC, Northeastern, Tufts, Emerson, MIT, Harvard, Mass Art, New England School of Photography, or one of the other 40 colleges and universities within the Boston city limits, you are immediately inducted to the fraternity of Bostonians and a series of social norms that exist nowhere else in the world.
When walking around lost, do not bother looking for the North Star; look for the Citgo sign and find your way home accordingly.
You are now a Boston sports fan, regardless of whether you’re a sports fan. If you want to avoid public verbal abuse, your wardrobe and general demeanor will express your love and excitement for the Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins, and Patriots on all game days. You will watch these games, and like it.
And, the third Monday in April is a holiday. The state finally got around to declaring it Patriots Day, but everyone in Boston was forgoing work, school, and sports to watch the Marathon long before that. It was a day to revel in the first rays of Spring sunshine, come together with the entire Boston community to support charities and friends, and to start drinking mimosas at 7 am.
Cheering on the marathon runners is part of what it means to live in Boston. On April 15th 2013 that joy, and the perfect memories that day is meant to create, were shred apart by the malicious will of those too cowardly and evil to take responsibility for the destruction they have wrought. Boston is not known for its even temperament, or its ability to forgive.
Boston gets even. Boston comes back stronger. With an indomitable spirit, Boston will recover its role as a place of happiness, adventure, and safety for the students and families who live there.
As an alumna who no longer resides on the banks of the Charles River, I can only say that my heart and my hopes are with my second hometown. We must honor the victims of senseless violence by remembering them; including those killed in Newtown, CT, and recently in Texas, but also move forward with a deeper understanding of what it means to live.
Indulging your dreams and passions, living with your whole heart, is the best way to honor those that are gone. To overcome that which cannot be understood, we should strive to know ourselves better, and be the best version of that person we can, all of the time.
Boston, I love you.
Readers, I love you.