It is never easy to recover from loss. We can never forget how we feel when tragedy strikes. When our home and those we love are threatened, our innermost self is struck by a force that seemingly not even time will overcome. But we often latch on to a hope, a motto, a single word--something that will push us to move forward with strength and dignity.
When two bombs went off at the Boston Marathon finish line on April 15, 2013, Boston College students were scattered. Some were on the race course, prevented from finishing what they had worked so hard for. Some were making the long walk back to Newton, desperately asking Comm. Ave. natives for information about what had happened.
Others were crowded into Lower, surrounding the TVs with wide eyes and still hearts. No matter where we were in that moment, however, the following week we pulled each other close and gratefully reflected on the fact that we were lucky enough to all be in one place, surrounded by love.
Today, on the anniversary of those tragic events, we remember those who died, those who were injured, and those who moved forward and managed to grow stronger in the face of adversity.
We remember the runners who never finished their 26.2 miles, who were not the deciders of when their marathon ended.
We remember the responders, who proved to the country and to the world that Boston is a city built on love, support, and community, even for a stranger who just needs a blanket and a couch for the night.
And most importantly, we remember that Boston is growing stronger every single day, and no matter where we look, we can always find sources of hope and inspiration which simply reiterate that Boston is and will always be unbreakable.
In anticipation of this year's Marathon, Dear World, a self-proclaimed "business/art project/social experiment," invited survivors of the bombings to revisit the finish line on Boylston Street, and to share their messages of survival with the rest of the world.
As Robert X. Fogarty, the founder of the project, says in his opening letter, "What happened that day was terror. Terror happens when love is absent. Boston is a city of love stories now. Thank you for sharing yours here."
As BC students who play a pivotal role as Marathon spectators at Mile 21, we too felt the pain of a city terrorized on a day meant for pure, unadulterated joy.
But, like the survivors, we too have messages of hope and love to share with the world. These are our love stories.
Photos by Anthony Golden/Gavel Media.