By: Donny Porcaro
Boston was built on being the underdog. From the first battles of Lexington and Concord in 1775, the people in Boston proved they were never afraid of adversity.
This legacy has stood in Boston for over 240 years now and still holds true. From the early days of the pilgrims, to the revolutionary war, to the broken Curse of the Bambino, Boston never shied away from a little adversity. Boston is known for the grit, toughness and drive of the city and nothing emphasizes that more than Marathon Monday. People from all over the world compete in this special event. An event that literally celebrates athletes who run 26 miles just for fun.
However the true toughness was shown in the 2013 Marathon where four innocent people tragically lost their lives due to the Boston Bombings, with many more injured. An act so terrible, meant for the city to live in fear ended up showing this cities true colors. So how did Boston respond? Runners in the marathon who luckily did not get injured continued running all the way to Mass General Hospital to give blood for the people that lost theirs. You would think after 26 miles no one would be able to run any more. That is except for the crazy people of Boston who would give up anything to help their city and the people living in it. An extra mile or two and giving some blood was nothing to these individuals.
The citizens of Boston were courageous to say the least, but that takes nothing away from the Boston Police Department. The BPD went on a city wide manhunt to find the man who attempted to terrorize the city. Governor at the time Deval Patrick decided to shut down the entire city. Almost a million people were ordered to stay inside, lock their doors and let absolutely no one in. Tactical teams devised plans and drew up maps of the area with one target in mind. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The other half of the brothers who planted two bombs at the marathon finish line, hoping to strike fear into the hearts of the people of Boston. The city stayed completely still for the whole day of April 19th, 2013. In fact, even the city that loves their sports so much called off their games. The Red Sox and Bruins both postponed their games in order to help find Tsarnaev. Finally, as the sun was about to set over Boston, he was spotted. Found hiding out inside a boat parked in the driveway of a Watertown home, Tsarnaev was finally captured and taken into custody. What happened in the coming months and days showed why Boston is the toughest city in the nation.
The Boston Bruins were the first team to play at home after the bombings. The fans were filled with emotion going in. From the time the Bruins took the ice, it was clear this game was different than others. A tribute on the jumbotron began playing to all the people who were effected by the bombings. Players and fans both watched with watery eyes as Phillip Phillips’ “Home” began playing over the marathon montage. After the montage was over, it was time to start the usually pre-game ceremonies. It started how any other Bruins game would start. Rene Rancourt came out to sing the National Anthem, just as he has done every home game for over 40 years. However, as he was signing he became a little choked up. He noticed that the entire TD Garden was signing along. Rancourt stopped signing and let the fans carry on. This moment sent chills up the spines of anyone who was watching. This was more than a game.
The next event in Boston happened to be the Red Sox playing the Kansas City Royals. The Sox decided that they would honor the victims of the bombings as well as the law enforcement officials who helped capture the two brothers. Once again, a montage of the marathon began to play. This time with a rendition of “Hallelujah” was played over the video. As both teams lined up on their sides of the field, runners from the marathon were honored as well as the officials. After the ceremonial first pitch was thrown, David Ortiz stepped on the field to say a few words to the people of Boston. He thanked the city of Boston as well as explained the meaning of the home jersey saying “Boston” on the front instead of the usual “Red Sox”.However, it was his next line that changed the way Bostonians felt about the events that had occurred. His famous line of “This is our Fucking City” lit a fire under the city of Boston and gave a sense of strength to the people. Boston was not scared anymore. They were ready to stop hiding and start helping. Infamously, the Red Sox went on that season to win the World Series in honor of the victims of these tragic events.
The events on Marathon Monday bring together the people of Boston in a way very few events can. Every year, fans wake up early and line Yawkey Way, waiting for the Red Sox to play at 11 o’clock, the earliest game in the Major League Season. After the game fans walk down to Boylston Street to celebrate the marathon runners. This tradition has stood since 1969 and continues to be a favorite tradition of Boston. This year however, has a little twist. The Boston Bruins also play at home in the playoffs on Monday night. This year, spectators will receive the full Boston experience and will be able to see why Boston is the greatest city in the nation. This is our fucking city, stay strong.
Photo Credit: (Getty)