Boston Strong – by Emily

The events that took place two weeks ago in Boston were devastatingly close to home. I go to school less than a half hour away from the shootings and knew people both running and volunteering at the Marathon, some of whom were within walking distance of the attacks. The initial onset of it all was truly heart-wrenching, but what myself, my peers, the city of Boston, and the nation saw during and after the events were truly inspiring.

Last Friday, five days after the events in Boston took place, the police were still hunting for the attackers. That night also happened to be the night of Merrimack College’s annual Spring Concert and The Band Perry was on their way to perform. The campus was antsy and anxious as they kept checking social media for updated news reports, but the show was sure to go on.

And then something so powerful and triumphant happened. I was sitting with my friends in the arena waiting for The Band Perry to take the stage when my friends phone went off. It was a text from her mom saying they had captured the final attacker. The battle was over. I turned to my other friend and told her the news and she turned to her friend and within seconds the entire crowd of 3,000 plus people had heard the news.

And within a few more seconds the entire crowd was chanting “USA! BOSTON STRONG! USA! BOSTON STRONG!”

And then The Band Perry took the stage and joined in our rejoicing. They sang Sweet Caroline in honor of our city, and we all took a moment of silence to reflect.
In the past decade we’ve seen school shootings, movie theatre shootings, terrorist attacks, and now these attacks on the Boston Marathon. I think the most devastating thing was how sacred and honored the Boston Marathon was. It was a day for people to take pride in their accomplishments and show that they can succeed in something that they put their mind too. The bombings and attacks was a chance for someone to take away that honor.

But they didn’t succeed.

We are Boston Strong, We are notorious for our headstrong ways and our Boston pride. These attacks didn’t take that pride away from us, in fact it made it stronger. People now more than ever are motivated to run the Marathon and for those who couldn’t finish. There are people in this world that are going to try and break spirit. But just like the 3,000 of us at that concert, the good in this world surely outnumbers the evil. It may not seem that way in these dark and confusing times, but if we can all stand together and appreciate the good in life, we can all be Boston Strong.

Emily Thomas is a college freshman at Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts majoring in Chemistry and Secondary Education. Originally from Bridgewater, Massachusetts, Emily was a participant in the Distinguished Young Women program and was selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of Massachusetts for 2012. Learn more about Emily here!