I was born and raised in Chelsea, Massachusetts, just outside the city of Boston. Whenever anyone asks where I grew up, my normal answer is Boston, not Chelsea, because Boston is THE FAMOUS city near where I lived. And 'Boston' seems to encompass many of the surrounding areas.
I lived the first twenty-three years of my life there. Then I married, moved away and lived in several other states, returning to live, temporarily, in Massachusetts and then settling in Connecticut for many years before moving to Arizona. Through all these moves, my heart has always been in Massachusetts. It's where I grew up, went to school and college, met my husband, and where most of my relatives lived. I worked in Boston to pay for college. I spent countless hours at Boston Common, the museums, enjoyed the downtown shopping, the theaters, the Red Sox games, the Celtics, the Freedom Trail, the shopping, the restaurants, the shopping (okay, Filene's Basement was the best shopping hunting ground ever....eveh, if you're from Boston). It was just the place to be if you wanted to do ANYTHING. Boston's history is the history of this country.
Boston people are wonderful: brash, wicked friendly, really smart (smaht if you're from Boston), glad to see you and crazy for their sports teams. Anyone who comes from the Boston area originally or moves there finds that the Boston "aura" wends its way around your heart and you are foreveh changed!
The Boston Marathon tragedy was a horrific blow to Boston, to Massachusetts, to the sports world, to all those who were injured but especially to those whose lives were lost and their families. The authorities, with the full weight of the Federal, state and local governments, will find the perpetrator(s). But the first responders were incredible, the firefighters, the police, the EMTs, the doctors and nurses, the National Guard, even many citizens who had been watching the race all rushed to help with little regard for their own safety. They are the heroes of this senseless attack. Thank goodness Boston is blessed with an abundance of first rate medical facilities who tended to the injured. And kudos to the local residents who opened their homes to house those who couldn't get back into their hotels and had nowhere to go. It was the ultimate affirmation that people are good.
Boston will recover because its citizens are a resilient people. But they will never forget about those who were hurt and killed. Lessons will be learned from this tragedy, especially about security, and the Boston Marathon will continue. We are a determined people who will find a way to keep our freedom without being shackled by fear. That is another lesson this tragedy will teach us.
I may live in Arizona now, but I AM BOSTON.