Opinion: Boston, you're my home

It’s hard to know how to deal with tragedy when it hits so close to home. Today was a beautiful day in Boston that was marred by an unforeseeable tragedy. Marathon Monday symbolizes everything that I love about my home here in Boston. As a self-declared “Masshole,” I am in love with Massachusetts. I have never lived anywhere else. I have never wanted to live anywhere else. I never willingly associate with a Yankees fan. I take pride in my aggressive driving, my dropped r's and my Dunkin' Donuts addiction.

Screen Shot 2013-04-15 at 9.56.07 PMThere’s something about the camaraderie in Massachusetts, and especially in Boston, that warms my heart. I love this grungy city. I love the dirty T and the people I meet there.  Coming home from my PULSE placement is always made more enjoyable by the Red Sox fans who pack the Green Line and lovingly shout obscenities at each other over the heads of other passengers.

So much of this Boston camaraderie centers on the passionate sports base that has grown up within the city. We join together for Celtics games, Bruins games, Red Sox games and, once a year, the Boston Marathon.

This makes today’s tragedy so much harder to accept. Everyone in the city loves the Boston Marathon. College students, families and athletes all join together for a day that celebrates the strength of the human spirit. For one day Boston loses its inhibitions and screams itself silly cheering on runners from around the world. It’s a tradition that has united Boston for 117 years. For anyone to take that away from our city is a crime beyond imagination.

The loss of human life and the injuries sustained at the bombings today are unfathomable catastrophes. My heart goes out to those affected by today’s tragedy. If you or someone you love was injured I can’t even begin to express my condolences and sincere sorrow for your loss.  If you witnessed the event and need a hug, my hugging services are always available.

Screen Shot 2013-04-15 at 9.56.24 PMBoston, I am also sincerely sorry for your loss. You are a great city full of great “Massholes.” Your spirit and your grit will carry you through this tragedy.  Your citizens love you. I love you.  Together we can survive this senseless act of terror that stole our Marathon and sense of safety.

Nationwide condolences and prayers have been pouring into the city through social media and news coverage. Despite all of the support from around the country we are left to wonder, why Boston? Why our home? Terrorism is not something that we have had to deal with in Boston. It has been present on a national level and yet always removed from our city. This has not made the terror any less potent, but now we are forced to face it on the home front. I never thought I would see Boston fall victim to an act of blatant disrespect for the city and the human life within the city.

My home has been and always will be Massachusetts and, by extension, the city of Boston. Millions of people feel the same way. Even if you’re not from Massachusetts, Boston has become your home during your time here at Boston College. You chose to come to this city and become a part of the gritty, endearing Boston culture. For anyone to steal the comfort and safety of our home is unacceptable.

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Boston and the Marathon will endure, but we as a community have been severely shaken. In a statement made to the Boston Globe, Boston Police Chief Ed Davis said, "This cowardly act will not be taken in stride." Across the city, and in the face of this horror, Boston will remain resilient. We will overcome the fear that this attack meant to instill. As the death toll rises and the injuries continue to be reported we must show support and solidarity for our home. In my opinion, the words of our school song have never been more potent or relevant: “For Boston, for Boston, we sing our proud refrain.”

Boston, I love you.

Screenshots by Emily Akin/Gavel Media

 

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Emily Akin