Do you remember where you were when the two bombs went off last April at the Boston Marathon finish line? I do.
I was driving home from a baseball game at North Middlesex Regional High School in Townsend when I flicked on the sports station and heard the unthinkable. Boston was under attack.
On what has been a joyous day in Boston and its surrounding communities changed in the blink of an eye. Immediately, I found myself messaging a couple of my friends who I knew were participating in the race that day.
Luckily, they made it out unscathed and were on the commuter rail back home when the bombs went off.
However, the lives of many were changed for ever. For those who weren't physically injured in the attacks, the guilt of making it out unscathed can still be painful for survivors.
Everyone knows somebody who competed in the marathon that day. Runners are a special breed of athletes.
No matter the weather, whether it's a holiday -- they are out there pounding the pavement and logging miles.
This year's marathon had some changes in terms of security as one might expect.
Thousands of first responders were stationed up-and-down the race course in the event that someone tries to ruin such a special day for a city still in the process of healing from last year's tragic events.
Over 36,000 runners participated in Monday's race to show solidarity for Boston and the marathon running community.
Sports are often times the way athletes and cities deal with tragedy. I can personally vouch for that.
When I was a sophomore zin high school my father suddenly passed away from a heart attack he suffered in his sleep.
At 16-years-old, I found myself immersing myself in sports and picking up more hours at my part-time department store job. Each person has their own way of coping with strategy.
For runners it's training and racing -- for others, they find the strength in their local city's professional teams.
The Red Sox offered Boston and its surrounding communities a shoulder to lean on and something to cheer about.
For the remainder of the season and into this year, the Red Sox have shown their appreciation for the first responders and those who were injured in the marathon.
The Red Sox felt that they needed to do something for the community, and they certainly did after winning the World Series in six games over the St. Louis Cardinals at Fenway Park. It was the first time the Red Sox clinched the World Series at Fenway Park since 1918 -- only fitting for a nation still healing. David Ortiz said it best when he said "This is our city." Well, that's the newspaper friendly version.
And, how about the first Bruins game after the marathon tragedy? Rene Reincourt, the Bruins' national anthem singer, sang the Star Spangled Banner like he always does, but he dropped the microphone when the TD Garden capacity crowd sang together in solidarity. And, so the healing process began.
The Red Sox wore "Boston" on their home white jerseys in Monday morning's 11 a.m. game. Those who do not watch sports regularly don't see the need for professional teams.
All they see are the inflated salaries of grown-men playing a child's game, not the good they bring to a city in terms of boosting the economy and bringing out city pride.
The Boston sports teams bring all of that, but they more importantly helped the great city of Boston heal. Watching the overwhelming support of the Boston community for the runners sends chills straight up your spine.
Meb Keflezghi migrated to the United States when he was 12-years-old, and for him to win the marathon, it made the day that much more special.
Boston is not only strong, it is more resilient than it has ever been. And, it will only grow stronger.