On April 15, 2013 at 2:49 PM, two pressure cooker bombs exploded at the Boylston Street finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon. As a result of the bombings, 3 people were killed and 264 were left injured. In the manhunt that ensued on April 18, police officer Sean Collier was also killed. The terrorist attack was intended to initiate fear and weakness among the people of Boston, but the people of Boston have proven that they are resilient.
Sixteen of BC’s own Presidential Scholars from the class of 2016 have collaborated with the people of Boston to continue the Boston Strong movement. After ten months of discussion with change makers and social justice organizations throughout Boston, these students have published a book to guide readers through what they call “Strong Month.” Strong Month, which runs from April 15 to May 10, is 26 days of becoming stronger.
On Tuesday, April 15, from 7:00 p.m. – 8:15 p.m. in the Murray Room of the Yawkey Center at BC, the students will hold an event called “One Year of Strong – Becoming Stronger?” The book will be dedicated, and Strong Month will officially begin. This movement is meant to pay respect to the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon tragedy and help the people of Boston continue to move forward through a more critical view of what actually makes Boston Strong. The book is a non-profit endeavor and all money goes toward publishing costs.
Participants will read a different article from the book each day. Reflection questions will follow, guiding the reader to take action and have an impact. Writers include Dave Fortier, a runner injured by the first explosion, and Jack Fultz, 1976 Boston Marathon winner. There is also an article by Boston Globe photographer John Tlumacki and a writing from Richard Blanco, fifth inaugural poet of the United States of America. There are contributions from Haley House Bakery Café, the Boston Public Health Commission and Partners in Health, among many others.
By providing an opportunity for reflection, Strong Month allows participants to understand the roots behind the phrase “Boston Strong.” Strong Month keeps us conscious of the problems within the city of Boston. The reflective nature of Strong Month combined with the power of the phrase “Boston Strong” enables action and insight into the collective strength of Boston. This strength can be used to power change in a city with problems of its own. Strong Month reminds us that there is a lot to change to be made in education, healthcare, homelessness and immigration within Boston, and together we can make a difference because together we are Boston Strong.