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Lives change in aftermath of bombing PDF E-mail

The Boston Marathon was an after-thought. The race certainly did not matter and, as I’m writing this, I still do not know who won the 26.2-mile event.
Nor do I care.
The real story is what happened at the finish line some four hours into one of America’s greatest sporting events, and certainly to the people of Boston and to the state of Massachusetts.
Life will go on, but life was destroyed.
Life has changed.
There simply are no words, at least I had no words, when I learned of the details of the two bombs, the loss of life, the injuries and horror. War is like that, but this was downtown Boston, home of the Red Sox, home of the Celtics. This was 27,000-plus runners doing what they love.
Running a marathon.
This was the best of times. This was the worst of times.
In its simplest form, this is the definition of the word tragedy. Lives lost, lives changed for no reason whatsoever.
It is ironic. Runners falling to the ground from the shock wave as they passed the explosion. Runners finishing the race, looking back in disbelief. People running away from the bomb blast, and people running toward danger to lend aid and comfort.
And how ironic that on this Patriot Day 2013, a Massachusetts state holiday, that true American heroism shown brightest.
Terrorists, try as they might, will never take away our freedoms. Terrorists will never take away our American spirit, and they’ll never take away our desire for justice.
We will find you.
People, and perhaps kids in particular too young to understand, are now asking just how safe of a community, of a nation, do we live in.
Should we gather together in the stands to watch football games, basketball games, hockey games and baseball games?
Should we keep competing in marathons, biathlons and triathlons, or should we hide in our basements and use the treadmill?
Should we attend rock concerts, jazz concerts and piano concerts, or just let the music fade away?
Should we celebrate together during holidays, on parade routes, in pizza parlors, or should we live in fear the rest of our lives?
Should we, in effect, let the terrorists, let the crazies win, let them dictate how each and every one of us can go about our daily life, or do we remain steadfast, proud of our heritage, our past and our future?
Patriot Day is a holiday commemorating the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775. These were, in effect, the first battles of the American Revolutionary War.
But on April 15, 2013, the two “shots” that rang out in the heart of Boston will change that city forever, just as the disappearance of New York City’s twin towers changed that city forever.
Changed a nation forever.
Gone are the innocent, but in their place stand the vigilant.
Gone are the trustworthy, but in their place stand the defiant.
Gone are the naive, but in their place stand the firm.
And gone from Boston are the runners, but only until next year.
We, as Americans, are navigating through a marathon of life. It’s a journey, one where we’ll all stay the course.

DAVE BRADLEY can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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