We live in a smartphone world. You can order food, deposit checks, and stalk your ex all in one finger swipe. Unfortunately you can also access horrific images without even getting out of bed. There are countless eyewitness accounts out there surrounding the tragedy of the Boston Marathon. This is mine.
|Top Right: My friend Erica pushes a wheelchair to help a man achieve his Boston dreams. Bottom left: Elise and Heather at mile 21. Bottom Right: My brother wears a horse mask and holds a sign that says, "Hit here for more horse power." |
|Moving "selfie" at mile 19. My first mile and Elise's 19th of the course.|
As I waited for her to come into view, I was able to see a tiny portion of the shirts worn by the estimated 2,500 charity runners. Countless messages of inspiration ran past. People running for loved ones and people running for strangers. People who wore messages of their own battles conquered, as a woman who wore a shirt that announced, “I am the face of arthritis.” People ran to honor the memory of battles lost, to heal their grief and contribute hope to the future.
People ran in zebra suits, tutus, plush hamburger belts, hotdog costumes and even Crocs. The crowd screamed any name that came into view, whether a charity name, the name of a college or a name written in sharpie on the arm of a determined runner. One man even wore a shirt that read, “Sooee, sooee” to encourage the crowd to hog call. I recalled my first Boston marathon injuries from 2008, blistered fingers from ringing a cowbell furiously, a sunburned neck and voice that was no longer. I was a spectator.
|This face represents Marathon Monday.|
|High fives at Boston College|
|Inflatable Arch: The Heartbreak is Over|
We were stopped less than half a mile from the finish line.
Please don’t define Marathon Monday by the vicious act of one, but instead by the inspiring acts of thousands. The world isn’t a sick place, there are just a handful of sick people in a beautiful crowd of millions. I urge everyone with every ounce of my being to avoid the photos of the tragedy that plaster the internet. The images that we all need to see right now are the the euphoric faces of the runners, the crowds ten people deep, Team Achilles featuring runners with artificial limbs, the runners in their 80s, the runner’s pushing wheelchairs, Team Hoyt ,or the couple who married just after finishing. Please share any positive pictures and stories that you have from Monday. These are the images that restore your faith in humanity- the images that represent the marathon, the images that are Boston.