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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Despite Boston Marathon tragedy, patriots will still stand and run together

    Patriots’ Day is a holiday in Massachusetts that honors the official start of the American Revolution, the battles at Lexington and Concord. On that day, the patriots of New England stood their ground against the British, marking the beginning of their quest for freedom.

    Observed on the third Monday of April, Patriots’ Day is also the day that the Boston Marathon is run.

    For many people, work and school are canceled. College students, in particular, treat Marathon Monday as a celebration. There are large parties throughout the day, students drink and then go watch the Marathon. The Red Sox usually have a home game at Fenway Park.

    Yesterday, I received a picture from my sister of her, her husband and her 3-month-old son posing for a picture in front of mile marker 23, on what looked like a beautiful day. It was my nephew’s first Marathon Monday.

    Yesterday, at 12:15 p.m., Tucson time, I received another text from my sister that said “Explosion in Boston on marathon route.”

    Two bombs went off at the Boston Marathon around 3 p.m. EDT, killing three, including an 8-year-old boy, and injuring more than 144 people, according to CNN.

    These weren’t bombs at just another sporting event. These were bombs at a charity event. The professional runners had long since finished, and the people crossing the finish line were those who were running for a cause, and had raised money in order to have the opportunity to check “running a marathon” off their bucket lists.

    The victims were friends and family, innocent bystanders cheering for people attempting to finish a grueling event.

    Two years ago, I was standing right by where the bomb went off, on Boylston Street, cheering on my sister and aunt as they ran.

    I remember the atmosphere being joyous. People were cheering on their loved ones and runners were rejoicing at the fact that they just ran 26.2 miles.

    Yesterday was different. According Vernon Loeb, a writer at the Washington Post and runner in the marathon “when the explosion went off, a hush fell over the city.”

    In the next few days, there will be news conferences and vigils. There will be Facebook statuses and tweets. Police will go through the “who,” “why” and “how” something like this could happen and who would want to do it.

    There will be people calling for reform, perhaps more mental health discussions, or a stricter monitoring of potentially dangerous materials.

    However, you can’t forget that the Boston Marathon is run on Patriots’ Day, a day honoring the bravery of our ancestors.

    Yesterday, just like on April 19, 1775, our freedom was attacked. We have a responsibility as Americans, as patriots, to stand together and offer support to those in need.

    We can learn from the marathon runners who crossed the finish line and continued running to Massachusetts General Hospital to donate blood.

    Despite the tragedy of yesterday, next year on Patriots’ Day, people will run the Boston Marathon again and there will be more runners and spectators than ever. Boston is a resilient city, and it’s going to take a whole lot more than two bombs to get rid of Marathon Monday.

    — Dan Desrochers is the opinions editor of the Arizona Daily Wildcat. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu or on Twitter via @drdesrochers.

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