I have felt a lot of things over the past day, and I'm sure the range of emotions isn't over. I heard about the tragic bombings in Boston when I was having lunch yesterday. I got a news alert on my phone and instantly my heart sank into my stomach. I feared that the pain and anguish that hit this country nearly twelve years ago was back.
For one to understand what Marathon Monday is like in Boston, one has to be there. To have lived there or to have been there on a Marathon Monday past. It always takes place on Patriot's Day. Now, anyone who hasn't lived in New England will say "hey! we don't have that!". That's right, you don't It's really just a New England thing, and every year it's great. There is a parade, the marathon, and usually both a Celtics game and Red Sox day-game. The city is enthralled in celebration, pride and just really experiencing Boston. And also that "yay I don't have to go to school" feeling.
I only lived in Boston for two years, but for both years I went and cheered on marathon runners at the finish line. When I saw photos, video, audio, everything that was streaming through the airwaves yesterday I kept thinking about the times where I was there cheering. I couldn't imagine a wonderful day like those instantly changing forever. Changing a tradition, changing people's lives, changing a city.
The Boston Marathon is the oldest marathon in the United States. It signifies a lot of pride, joy and beauty. But now it is forever changed. There will forever be a cloud, a sadness, a sense of mourning over this once very innocent and wonderful tradition.
After the news broke and registered in my mind yesterday I called my best friend, a native New Englander. All we could do was repeat how sad it was, how scary it was, and how shaken we felt by the whole thing. We went to school less than a mile from that finish line. I entered and exited the subway stop in front of the intersection hundreds of time. It only now feels like nostalgia isn't just fond memories of the past, but memories you wish could stay as is without the sadness that now lingers.