A Letter to the City of Boston From A Native
When I first heard of yesterday’s events, like you, I was angry and hurt. “Why would you do this to my home?” I found myself saying to the television, to this unknown figure who decided to ruin a momentous occasion for so many.
Of course, YOU know how special Marathon Monday is. Not only does it kick off April School Vacation Week, it shuts down the whole city and gives most the excuse to play hooky. You can party, you can watch the runners or you can do a little bit of both. It’s just an amazing day because, after everything is said and done, you’re an amazing city. And I’m not just saying that because I’m from West Roxbury and I have to. It’s fact. And so I’m writing you today, Boston, to say: Don’t you dare forget that.
It’s easy to be angry, hurt, sad or frightful. It’s easy to stay in bed and lock your doors extra tight and avoid strangers on the street. But Bostonians don’t like things to be easy. We are fighters – just ask Mark Wahlberg.
Everyone always references the 2004 Red Sox. But what about our 2008 Celtics, who won their 17th championship after 22 years, or our 2011 Bruins who won their 6th after 39? And then we can’t forget the Patriots, who won their first championship in 2001 and said, “That’s not enough!” and came back for two more.
Then, you could reference our politics. We were the first state to decide on marriage equality and we have been unwavering since. When your schools were facing budget cuts, it was the students who fought to keep their teachers in the classrooms. And how about our great Mayor who, despite recovering from surgery yesterday, was up and mobile and making sure his citizens were okay?
I guess what I’m trying to say is this: you are one of a kind, Boston. You never take no for an answer and you laugh in the face of a challenge. You cross the street when it says do not walk and you shamelessly block the intersections during rush hour. You are resilient and strong and you are the reason I am who I am today.
It’s okay to be angry or hurt or sad. But do not be scared. Look at our past. Whether it’s staging revolutions, winning baseball games or plunging into the ocean in the dead of winter, we are fearless people. It will be difficult, but head out onto those streets you love, say hello to the woman walking past you and hold the door for the man coming from the bank. Live your life the way the awful people who did this don’t want you to. Do not let them win, Boston.
I will be home in two weeks, and I know you may look a little bit different, but I still can’t wait to see you. I can’t wait to get a B3 from City Feed and then cross the street and get my coffee at Dunkies. Or take a stroll through BU’s campus and somehow end up eating ice cream on Newbury. I can’t wait to watch a hockey game on my couch with my dad and get all riled up even though they can’t “hear me through the TV.”
I’m going to steal a slogan from high school and say it really applies to you, Boston. Sumus Primi, Latin for “We are first; we are the best.” You have been there since the founding of this great nation and you aren’t going anywhere and nothing can get in the way of that.
All Images via Tori Coyne