April 15, 2014 marks the one-year anniversary of the Boston bombings. Remember that horrible day? The explosions near the finish line at the world’s oldest and most prestigious marathon? The shock? The lock-downs? Five slain innocents?
Shock gave way to grief gave way to anger gave way to silent resolve: Hunt down those responsible, pit bull-like, and bring them to justice. (Justice, folks, not revenge. There’s a difference.)
In the process and thereafter, something remarkable unfolded. The stars and stripes filled Boston and the nation’s skies like white on rice. Americans stood shoulder-to-shoulder with our wounded, traumatized brothers and sisters in Boston. Neighbors reached out to neighbors. Total strangers sheltered total strangers. Outpourings of generosity, compassion and tangible aid and assets flooded in to Boston like a tsunami.
Wait a minute. Did I say “remarkable”? No. That’s not it. What happened post-Boston bombings isn’t “remarkable.” It’s what Americans do. Every day. Quietly, without any fanfare. Away from the cameras. It’s who we are. Americans:
- Rush in to help
- Lend a hand
- Rebuild and regroup
- Comfort the hurting
- Roll up our sleeves and get to work
- Protect and defend
- Stand tall, “touching me, touching you”
Knocked down but not knocked out, Boston bounced back. Refused to be cowed. And America refused to:
- Sit idly by when our loved ones are threatened
- Roll over and play dead
- Sit down and shut up in the face of evil
- Hoist the white flag
- Go gently into the night
- Stay down for the count
Because we’re Americans. And we’re better than that.
Post-bombings, it sounded like:
“We are one. We are strong. We are Boston. We are Boston strong.”
Just five days after the bombings, Bostonians grabbed Old Glory and jammed Fenway Park. Decked out in red, white, and blue, Red Sox fans and friends joined Neil Diamond and belted out:
Did you hear it? Strength. Resilience. Resolve. That, dear friends, is the sound of Americans. So good! So good! So good!
Memo to Prez Pinocchio: Yes, We. Are. Exceptional. If you haven’t figured that out yet, bub, kindly saddle up and sashay yourself into the nearest Kindred Spirit Corral. Like Cuba.
Because we’re better than you, too.
A similar version of this post appeared on BuzzPo under the title, ‘Boston Strong’: Yes. We. Are.
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