We're glad that Matt Damon was able to write and submit an essay based on his fond memories of the Boston Marathon before the events on Monday occurred. We'd rather have the pureness of them shine through, rather than through the filter of such an awful attack!
On the third Monday in April, Comm. Ave. transforms into a sporting spectacle like no other, overwrought with nerves and excitement as enervated runners from around the world confront the historic Heartbreak Hill(s). I’ll never forget standing there in the crowd with my brother, Kyle, as we looked first for Bill Rodgers, and then, in the very same race as some of the most talented runners on earth, our smiling (and grimacing) 40-year-old dad.
My dad, Kent, never did catch Rodgers, but he ran the Marathon with the same passion as “Boston Billy,” and he did so four times throughout my childhood.
The word “Boston” is itself a hallmark in the international running community, forging a bond by the very sound of it between all who count themselves among its ranks and those who aspire to them. The strict qualifying standards, originally implemented to thin the growing field, ironically, today only enhance the race’s appeal to people whose primary motivation in running is not medals. Now many run for a slimmer waistline, a healthier lifestyle, or simply the challenge of completing 26.2 miles.
These people are champions, too.
Just because he isn't writing them through the filter of the attack doesn't mean we aren't reading it that way. His views begin to take on a newfound poignancy now — one heavier with meaning.
Especially the last line:
"These people are doing something good for themselves – and for others. How great is that?"
With so many people helping and putting themselves into harm's way to save others, we can't imagine a stronger nation than our own.
Bostonians, runners, visitors: you're all incredible people… and so very, very badass! Humanity still exists!
[Image via WENN.]