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The Blue & Gray Press | August 16, 2017

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Boston Marathon strengthens American ties one year later

By KRISTEN LAWRENCE

On April 15 2013, the annual Boston Marathon was well underway, with spectators cheering on runners as they closed in on the finish line.

A happy scene quickly changed when two pressure cooker bombs suspectedly planted by the Tsarnev brothers exploded, killing three people and and wounding over 200 otbostonmarathonThe bombing left a devastating scar on the mindscape of American citizens, but it also sparked something in the nation: the courage to leap into the fray and rescue wounded, like Carlos Arredondo.

On an even larger scale, Boston banded together to support the victims of the Marathon bombings, with fundraisers like “One Fund Boston” which was established by the Governor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick and Mayor of Boston, Marty Walsh. While at first stunned by the bombing, the quick response was a net positive for those affected by the tragedy.

Of the two suspects, the elder brother, Tamerlan was apprehended and died in custody.

The younger, Dzhokhar, remains in custody awaiting trial.

With the first anniversary of the event this year came remembrance and mourning, but also a greater sense of community.

Fear transformed into a determination never to forget, with tearful candlelit vigils held in the city of Boston.

Wreaths were laid at the memorial erected for the event. Echoes of New York’s World Trade Center post 9/11 were noted in Vice President Joe Biden’s speech, namely the determination that rose out of the wreckage of devastation.

While America’s sense of security was shaken, we should never allow ourselves to dwell on the potential of what could or might be. The U.S. fell victim to incredible acts of terrorism and violence just within the past fifteen years with 9/11 most prevalent in the mind.

It feels as though we are consistently under attack, and these attacks are insidious; well-planned, well-executed attacks meant to strike from within a crowd, where the assailant could be any face you see passing on the street. Perhaps not even human at all, it could be merely an object left behind that someone might consider harmless on any other day.

That has changed now, and it is a necessary change. We need to keep on alert, not just for ourselves but for our community at home and at large.

We should band together without the threat of bodily harm to spur us; rather, the idea that progress is not something we come to alone, but with the support of our friends and neighbors.

The U.S. showed it can move forward in spite of adversity, we cannot not let our next chance to shine be one amidst wreckage and ruin.

We must learn from past acts and use it to our advantage.

“We refuse to bend,” Biden said, at this year’s Boston Marathon. Under tightened security and bans on backpacks in place, runners will once again take to the streets.

Never forgetting, but moving forward, as the nation move forward, more wary but still looking toward the future.

We are not a nation defined by fear, but rather our actions in spite of that fear.

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