Monday, April 21, 2014

no victories for cowards

I am not a police officer, or the mayor of Boston, or the governor, or a fireman.  I was not injured in last year's bombing.  Nor do I know anyone personally who was injured.

Maybe what I will write in the following paragraphs would be different if I was a cop, or the mayor... But maybe not.

Today I took the train into Boston to watch the marathon.  I nearly always go in to see the event, but today I especially wanted to be there.  I wanted to be among those standing up to the miserable bastards who gutlessly killed and crippled spectators in the name of nothing a year ago.

The train was jammed.  It was twenty minutes late because typically fewer people get on this commuter line at noon on a Monday and it took more time to get all on board.

 At least 25 % of the riders were kids less than 12, traveling with their parents going down to the finish line to stand strong and cheer on the runners and the event.  Some had signs or wore shirts celebrating the anticipated accomplishments of friends and family.

I got off at the stop and walked to a spot where my buddy Kenny and I have stood for years during the marathon.  I noticed many more officers than usual as I walked to the vantage point. As I got within 250 feet I saw that there was a crowd.  And two police officers.  The access to Boylston Street at that vantage point was blocked.

The marathon ends at Boylston street.  Runners turn a corner onto Boylston having run on Commonwealth for what must seem to them to be forever. They turn onto Boylston and the crowd cheering swells. 

Not today. 

 I could not get close to the sidewalk by the usual spot.  I walked to another location which I figured might be open.  No way. More police officers and barricades. And crowds of sad spectators who had come on my train and many others hoping to root for their friends or just celebrate the day.

I had another idea. There is a back way I know to the area near the finish line.  I tried it.  No go.  Cops there too. And a crowd of others who were being turned away. Maybe in other spots, the viewing was possible, but many could not get anywhere near the runners.  Marathon day today was not the kind of fun it has always been. The festive atmosphere was subdued and not because of the memory of last year, but because you could not get near what was festive.  

I understand the need for caution, but the gutless pukes who bombed the marathon last year cannot enjoy any degree of victory.  If the marathon becomes less than what it was, they will have.

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