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Dear Boston

The Boston Marathon is near and dear to my heart. One of the greatest sporting events in the country weaves through the suburbs as it climbs closer and closer to the heart of the city. Runners from all over the world travel to be a part of this elite and prestigious race. As a child, I would stand along the sidelines and cheer on the runners while as an adult, I had the luxury of watching from my office window and scurrying down to see family and friends cross the finish line.

All luxuries and liberties disappeared last year when two bombs went off at the finish line. Fear and anxiety gripped the city of Boston as spectators in person and at home searched for their loved ones and a few families grappled with the reality that their loved ones would never return.

In one of the most devastating moments for Boston, the city relied on its strength. Bostonians rallied behind the families who had lost loved ones and survivors who had lost limbs. #BostonStrong became our new slogan and cities and countries supported Boston from afar.

Istanbul

For months, the city has been preparing for the one-year tribute as well as the 118th Boston Marathon coming up this Monday. I brainstormed for a while on where my April #take12trips would be, but the funny thing was, when the time came to travel I did not want to be anywhere but Boston. I wanted to be at home, surrounded by the people and the energy that was making Boston stronger one year later. My #take12trips for April took me to the Boston Public Library, one of my favorite places in Boston. This time it was for the “Dear Boston: Messages from the Marathon Memorial.”

Dear BostonIn one of the greatest outpourings of support our city has ever seen, thousands of people made a makeshift memorial at the finish line. Crosses, signs, notes, pictures and sneakers of marathon runners lined Copley Square and took on a life of its own. When it was dismantled in June 2013, it was given to the Boston City Archives, who created this memorial at the Boston Public Library to commemorate the one-year anniversary.

PeaceThe exhibition covers only one large room, but the messages contained within it are powerful. Crosses with photos of ones who were lost remind us of the sorrow and despair of the events. As you move around the room the encouraging letters and offerings of condolences from strangers serve as a reminder of the hope and love in the world. Lastly, the potted trees filled with messages for the future remind us of the strength and resilience this city has displayed over the last year and will continue to display in the days to come.

crosses

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I had a personal connection, as Max was running the Boston Marathon last year (in his first ever marathon), and was stopped at the 25.7 mile mark, just a half mile from the finish line on Boylston Street. While thankfully he was not hurt, those uncertain moments and the anguish that our city faced on 4.15.13 will always be remembered. Even though, he proclaimed he would be a “one and done” marathon runner, Max is lacing up his sneakers again on the 3rd Monday in April to run alongside a record-breaking 36,000 runners to prove that one year later we are still Boston Strong.

IMG_3636_2Good luck to all runners participating in the 118th Boston Marathon! I will see you at the Finish Line!

max run boston

“Dear Boston: Messages from the Marathon Memorial” is a free exhibit open at the Boston Public Library through Sunday, May 11th. 

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22 Comments Post a comment
  1. Dana #

    Good luck Max!! Boston Strong!!!

    Bridget, this one brought tears to my eyes 🙂 xo

    April 19, 2014
    • Thanks, Dana! He finished this year which was incredibly exciting! Such a great moment for everyone in Boston! xo

      April 24, 2014
  2. Beautifully written! And I think your April trip will definitely prove to be your most meaningful one as well. Someones the ones closest to home (literally and figuratively) have the most profound effect.

    April 19, 2014
    • Thanks, Julie! You are so right. It was incredibly nice to be home surrounded by so much positive energy and love for Boston. I could not imagine being anywhere else!

      April 24, 2014
  3. Horace #

    Bridget, that was a very insightful post and one that also hits home being from Boston. It really shows what resilience the city of Boston has and how it has continuously showed it this past year. I am happy to hear that Max is lacing up the sneakers again! Good luck to him! Thank you for your post!

    April 19, 2014
    • Thanks, Horace! Boston’s resilience really shined through this past year and Marathon Monday was a great conclusion! Max finished the marathon this year and helped prove that resilience, which was fantastic to watch! Thanks for reading!

      April 24, 2014
  4. Nancy #

    Thanks Bridget. Well done. Wishing Max a speedy and safe completion this year!

    April 19, 2014
    • Thanks, Nancy! Two years of training for that one finish was pretty spectacular to watch! We are very grateful that is was a safe finish for all the runners this year.

      April 24, 2014
  5. Mam #

    You express our sentiments so beautifully. I will be there cheering Max on.

    April 19, 2014
    • Thanks, Mam! He loved having you cheer him on. It was such a great day for Boston!

      April 24, 2014
  6. Patricia #

    Beautifully written Bridget. Godspeed Max!

    April 20, 2014
    • Thank you, Patricia! He did a great job running this year, it was so nice to finally see that finish!!

      April 24, 2014
  7. Bridget, this is such a wonderful tribute to your beautiful city and its resilient people. I love your positive attitude and determination. So glad that Max and all the other runners had a good run this year. All the best, Terri

    July 16, 2014
    • Thanks, Terri! It was a great weekend for Boston and it felt good to put a positive spin back on Marathon Monday!

      July 21, 2014
  8. Thanks. You brought out so much here. So many emotions! Pleased to have discovered your blog and I will definitely visit again soon. Regards from Thom at the immortal jukebox.

    July 26, 2014
    • Thanks Thom! It was an emotional day, but in the end it was filled with a lot of triumph. Thanks for stopping by!

      July 27, 2014
  9. Hi Bridget,
    We just love this post and wanted to let you know that we featured a link to it today as part of our “Slice of Americana Series” that we’re running this July. You can check it out at the link below. Thanks for your beautiful writing and photos!

    All the best, Terri & James

    http://gallivance.net/2014/07/26/into-the-east-10-links-youll-love/

    July 26, 2014
    • Terri and James – thank you so much! I am honored to be featured amongst such a great group of writers representing the Eastern part of the US! Looking forward to following the other writers you featured, there are so many great posts!

      July 27, 2014
  10. So glad Gallivance included this post in their Americana series. We loved the BM 2014 — especially since we have a friend who ran his 100th in it this year. Your pictures bring back many fond memories. You may want to see one of my posts on the event: http://ohtheplaceswesee.com/2014/04/26/five-big-reasons-we-loved-boston-marathon-2014/

    Best wishes for continued success!

    July 27, 2014
    • Thanks for reading, Rusha! I am so glad that you were there to witness this year’s Boston Marathon! It truly was something special. Congrats to your friend who ran his 100th marathon – how impressive!!

      July 27, 2014

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Into the East: 10 Links You’ll Love | GALLIVANCE
  2. A Look Back at 2014 | A Traveling B

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