Boston, MA is getting ready for the Boston Marathon, one year after the Boston Marathon bombings that shook the city. Folks in Boston are remembering the surreal hours after the bombing when victims were taken to hospitals, shocked citizens and visitors ran for shelter, freeways and streets became silent, and police scouted the city, looking for the perpetrator/perpetrators. Since that day, people all over the country have watched news clips about the survivors who have courageously recovered to walk again, to live their lives again. In the neighborhood that was home to the man who planned the bombings, people who walked past his home without knowing cannot forget that day, when the city of Boston went on “lock-down” to spare any more victims.
As the people of Boston remember that day, and as another Boston Marathon approaches, the media has interviewed, again and again, people who from all over Boston who look forward to this year’s marathon as a way to “come back” from the horror of last year.
One thing is clear from that day in 2013: the connections of first responders, of medical folks, of the community, of the police, of hospitals, allowed victims to be cared for as quickly as possible, all over the city. Everyone worked together. The City of Boston is a testament to the power of people in community who work together, train together, plan together, connect together to make sure that what is needed is provided.
Every day in the cities there are reasons for people to connect to one another. The connections we make are important to our daily lives, and they are, in a very real way, important to our survival. The power of connection is so basic to our survival that we may forget how important it is. But the people of Boston, MA now know how important it is.
Grief is a way of connecting. In our grief, we connect to one another as human beings, whoever we are, no matter how lonely, no matter how afraid. In a way, grief is the great “leveler” of human existence, even in these times when cultural differences, the class divide, and unresolved racial tensions cloud our ability to connect. We are human beings. Human beings grieve. In our grief, we are one.
So we honor the good people of Boston who worked together to save one another on that sad, sad, sad day in 2013. We honor their connections, which moved them to respond to one another quickly, and we honor their grief, which is ours.