I haven't written in a while, life has taken me in so many different directions it seems that I don't know which way is up lately. But today, I write with a purpose.
I visited Boston today one week after the marathon bombings. It amazed me how in one instant a city that you are so familiar with no longer feels as safe as it once did. While the terrorist attacks on 9/11 resulted in more deaths and more terror, it didn't quite hit as close to home as the five days of terror we experienced in this last week.
I went to Boylston Street where the bombings happened and looked down the empty and barricaded street. A street that is usually teeming with people. Businesses were closed. There was not even so much as a piece of trash on the ground. It was stunningly eerie.
As I walked around the city with my son, sirens blared. Firetrucks went racing down the street with an ambulance in tow. My first thought? Oh my God, something happened again. I failed to remember we were in a large city where many things happen every day, but my first thought immediately went to that place of terror. I wasn't even there on the day of the bombings, I can't imagine how traumatized the people who were there must be.
We continued our journey and stopped along the way to take photos of the flowers and memorials that people had set up all along Boylston. At one point we came up to a group of police officers. My son pointed them out and I told him that they saved the city. He walks up to the officers and says "Thank you for saving the city" and high-fived them. One of my proudest moments as a mother. I cried. I saw many other people along our walk stopping to thank the officers who were standing guard. It was well-deserved to say the least.
We walked back to the main memorial and it was nice to see how many people were gathered. A moment of silence was held at 2:50pm in honor of those who had lost their lives and those who were injured. I have never seen such a large group stay so silent. Interestingly enough no sirens were blaring at this point. It was SILENT. After the moment of silence a number of people began to sing God Bless America and cheer. It was uplifting and heartfelt. We finally headed back to the train station.
As we sat on the train we were surrounded by a number of people. My first thought when I looked around on the train? Holy crap there are a lot of black backpacks on this train. This incident has turned me to paranoia! I was telling my father in-law this and telling him how there is nothing in those backpacks, but I was fearing them anyway. He brought up a good point that people in the crowds at the race thought they were just backpacks as well. How true. You just never know.
We made it back home safely. The day was filled with so many different emotions that it is hard to comprehend. One thing I learned from this trip if nothing else is that the human spirit cannot be broken by two jerks with bombs. We are one. We are strong. We are Boston. We are Boston Strong.