"For Boston, for Boston, we sing our proud refrain. For Boston, for Boston, tis Wisdom's earthly fane. For here all are one and our hearts are true. And the towers on the Heights reach to Heaven's own blue. For Boston, for Boston, till the echoes ring again."
I sang (and played, as a proud bass drummer in the Screaming Eagles Marching Band) the above song on an almost weekly basis, many times over, during my time at Boston College. Until yesterday, never have those words carried such meaning.
I was not born in Boston. I didn't grow up there. But Boston was, is, and always will be a part of me. It is where, on the first day of "Band Camp" my freshman year of college, I met the love of my life; The man who would become my husband and the father of my children. It is where I made friends, that though now far in distance, are always close in heart. It is where, with the guidance and support of so many wonderful professors and mentors that I became certain that I wanted to be a Social Worker; a career that has brought me much joy and fufillment. It is where I learned what Social Justice really means, and what being "men and women for others" is all about. It is where I grew as a woman, as a person, and as a citizen of the world.
My husband, Matt and I moved from Boston to Maryland (where I am from) in 2006. However, a piece of our hearts has always remained behind. We have always said, "If our family wasn't in Maryland, we would live in Boston in a second." Yesterday, as I learned of the tragedy at the Marathon, a day I always looked back on with such excitement and joy, I was devastated. My heart ached. It ached for those killed and injured, for the people all around who were traumatized, and for the city as a whole.
Boston is a place that gets under your skin. It is filled with "transplants," people who have come from all over the Country and World and made it their home. And it is filled with some of the finest home grow Bostonians anyone would ever want to meet. And other than the difference in how these two groups of people say "Car" (caaaaaah), you wouldn't know them apart. For they all love Boston. They all call it home, and they were all affected by the events of yesterday. And yet, I have no doubt that the city of Boston--as we have already seen in so many stories of strength, compassion, and love--will come back stronger than ever. They will represent our Nation to the World as an example of courage, strength, and peace.
As I looked at my boys last night (3 years, and 3 months), boys who wouldn't exist without the city of Boston, I was immensely grateful. Grateful that although bad things happen in this world, that the bad things are far out-numbered by the good things. One day I will tell my boys of what happened on April 15, 2013. And they will know of the evil, but far more, they will know of the bravery of a city that I love more than any other.
And so, from this day forward, those words, "For Boston, for Boston..." will carry far more meaning. For each time I hear or sing my dear Alma Mater's fight song I will not only remember a wonderful University, but more so, a brave, compassionate, and love-filled city.