The tragedy at the Boston Marathon was especially poignant this week because of familial ties to the area:
Both parents and spouse were born and raised in the mill town of Lawrence, some 30 miles north of Boston. Our forebears were mostly Irish-Catholic immigrants who held patronage jobs in the police and fire departments in the early part of the 20th century. A grandfather was the truant officer for the Lawrence public schools.
The entire area is a sea of 19th and 20th century immigrants. Diversity, thy name is Boston. Of course, over the years there has been conflict among the many ethnicities. But two things that have always united them are great pride in the area in which they live and a similar pride in their sporting events and teams.
One of those great events, obviously, is the Boston Marathon.
President Obama could not have hit the nail on the head any better than when he said of the terrorists, "They picked the wrong city to do it."
Its citizens are both pugnacious and sentimental - and they never fight harder than when fighting for each other.
The president made that point when he remarked at Thursday's memorial service:
"This doesn't stop us. And that's what you've taught us, Boston. That's what you've reminded us, to push on. To persevere. To not grow weary. To not get faint. Even when it hurts. Even when our heart aches. We summon the strength that maybe we didn't even know we had, and we carry on. We finish the race."
The president's speech yesterday was inspirational and the note that had everyone cheering said a lot about Boston:
"You will run again. Of that I have no doubt, you will run again."
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