It is an honor for me to write these lines dedicated to the strong and tenacious community of Boston for their unyielding resilience and valor after the series of inexplicable tragedies that took place last week. Boston suffered one of its most tragic events in history last Monday while celebrating one of its most iconic and recognized events worldwide through its Patriots’ Day marathon that unites citizens from around the world. The explosion of the two bombs near the marathon finish line put not just the city of Boston, but the whole country in mourning, accompanied by a feeling of insecurity and uncertainty. However, Bostonians never lost control and faced this terror with courage and a solidarity never seen before. A collective effort of true heroes chose not to hide from the terror, but to reach out and help support the victim’s, their families, and the brave law enforcement and emergency medical technicians.
“…the objective of terror is to rattle a populous. It’s to make them paralyzed with fear…And to see all of these civilians run toward the blast to help their fellow civilians, to help their fellow Bostonians, their fellow members of the human race was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. It was one of the great acts of heroism I’ve ever witnessed.” Dennis Lehanne on ABC News
After the news of the three innocent lives lost, including that of BU´s graduate student Lingzi Lu, and the nearly 200 injured, the city was not the same. It gradually grew stronger, but the somber cloud still hung low over the city. After countless investigations by the authorities to clarify the facts and identify those responsible, the people of Boston maintained hope that justice was near. With the city desperate for recovery, just three days after the attack and hours after pictures of the suspects were released, the two suspects attempted to flee our city and sadly claimed the life of one who in my opinion is one of the greatest heroes of this tragedy. MIT Officer Sean Collier, only 26 years of age, faced these terrorists with great courage and sacrificed his own life for the protection of others. His sacrifice began what would be one of Boston´s most memorable paths to justice.
The next 20 hours following the murder of Officer Collier were the longest and most emotionally trying hours. I was one of those who stayed up all night listening to the police radio while constantly refreshing my Twitter feed to follow progress of the search, desperately hoping for a quick and safe end for all involved. The deployment of the authorities was amazing and impeccable in term of order and planning. The Boston community played a pivotal role in this action by heeding the request to “shelter in place”. The cooperation and support of the Boston community was inspiring.
At approximately 8:40 pm on Friday, April 19, an unmatched feeling and atmosphere of tranquility returned to Bostonians; a feeling that was taken away from us just days before. This experience has filled me with joy and pride to be a part of a community so strong and solid. I’m sure the four souls who fell in these tragic events will rest in peace whispering their satisfaction by filling us with that tranquility and peace that should never be taken away from us. I am extremely proud to belong to such a wonderful community that showed at all times to be tough, strong and united against adversity. Boston definitely has shown not only to be strong against the most difficult times, but also proved to be resilient and able to recover through the connectedness of its people and the world. After a week, a new hope is ahead of us. Thank you Boston for embracing me and other international students as one of your own. Boston is indeed strong.