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Boston Strong, the Rallying Cry That United a City

Boston Strong is an important part of the story leading to this years running of the Boston Marathon. Boston Strong encapsulated a need for the community to unite in face of daunting challenges and an uncertain future. It began on Patriots Day, Monday, pril !", #$!%, &hen three spectators &ere 'illed and #($ in)ured by t&o bombs detonated at the Boston Marathons *opley S+uare finish line. It &as a ,ery ,iolent and traumatic day for the city of Boston. But the days that follo&ed pro,ed to be )ust as intense and distressing. -ithin a fe& days, police identified D.ho'har and /amerlan /sarnae, as the suspects in the bombings. 0n /hursday e,ening, MI/ police officer Sean *ollier, in responding to a reported disturbance, &as shot multiple times and 'illed. Police lin'ed his murder to the /sarnae, brothers. 1arly 2riday morning, the /sarnae,s hi)ac'ed a car in *ambridge, ta'ing the dri,er hostage. /he hostage escaped. 3ed by information pro,ided by the hostage, police pursued the brothers into -aterto&n. /hey confronted the /sarnae, brothers, and in the ensuing gunfight MB/ Police 0fficer 4ichard Donahue &as shot and critically &ounded. 5illed in the shootout, /amerlan &as no longer a threat, but his brother D.ho'har &ho escaped capture &as. Moti,ated by the threat D.ho'har still posed, 6o,ernor De,al Patric' ordered a 6reater Boston loc'do&n and its residence to shelter7in7place. In -aterto&n, police officers made a house7to7 house manhunt. 0n the e,ening of 2riday, pril !8, they captured a bloodied and &ounded D.ho'har and transported him to Boston9s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical *enter. :o& held at the federal prison at 2ort De,ens in yer, D.ho'har /sarnae, is scheduled to go to trial in :o,ember. /he bombs 'illed eight7year7old Martin 4ichard; 5rystle *ampbell, #8; and 3u 3ing.i, #%. 0f the #($, !( had their legs amputated; t&o of the ,ictims had both legs amputated. ll of them ha,e been fitted &ith prostheses. Many ha,e returned to school or &or'.

Professional dancer drianne <aslet7Da,is, &ho lost her leg in the bombings, last month performed at the #$!= /1D *onference in >ancou,er, British *olumbia for the first time on her prosthetic leg specially designed for her by <ugh <err, director of the Biomechatronics group at /he MI/ Media 3ab. ?ane 4ichard, Martin 4ichards sister, lost her left leg. /heir mother, Denise 4ichard, suffered a head in)ury and lost her ,ision in one eye. Bill 4ichard, their dad, lost part of his hearing and suffered burns and shrapnel &ounds to his legs. /he 4ichards ha,e organi.ed a group of !$$ &ho &ill be running in this years Marathon in support of their charity, /he Martin -. 4ichard *haritable 2oundation. /he other amputees ha,e been fitted &ith prostheses and are learning to run ane&. Police 0fficer 4ichard Donahue is still reco,ering from his &ounds. Boston Strong has a much deeper meaning than a simple slogan or catchphrase. It sums up all of &hat happened during and after the tragic e,ents of the &ee' of pril !", and the refusal of Massachusetts and Boston to let anyone interfere &ith their hopes and dreams. 2irst responders and ordinary citi.ens &ho &ithout hesitation ran into the chaos and the un'no&n that &as behind the cloud of smo'e and debris, not 'no&ing &hether there &ere other bombs or not, e@emplify the meaning of Boston Strong. Its e@emplified by the 4ichards foundation, the Boston 0ne 2und, and other charitable e,ents organi.ed to support those afflicted by the tragedy. Its e@emplified by the resilience of Boston and its support of la& enforcements determination to bring )ustice to those &ho &ould commit such acts. Boston Strong &as in full display &hen <aslet7Da,is &al'ed off of the Meet the Press set because they, at her re+uest, promised not to name the accused bombers, a promise they did not 'eep. Boston Strong represents the defiance against those &ho might thin' they can create fear and brea' the spirit this city possesses. Its the motto &ritten across the in,isible banner that &ill be hanging o,er this years Boston Marathon finish line, &here an estimated %(,$$$ runners on Monday, pril #!, &ill again ma'e that historic #(.#7mile attempt from <op'inton to Boston to cross the finish line.

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