Boston Marathon shows the unique healing power of sports

Staff writerApril 23, 2014 

The Boston Marathon was Monday, one year after two bombs exploded at last year’s race. The event marked yet another tragedy in the United States, which seems to happen more often. However, in the face of such tragedy, the community rallied.

I recently wrote about how sports have the power to bring communities together. This was especially true in the aftermath of the Boston bombings as the Red Sox coined the term “Boston Strong.” Other teams in Major League Baseball latched onto the term in support of the Boston community, wearing the motto on T-shirts and hats, tweeting #BostonStrong and showing their support at the ballpark and through social media. While the gesture was just that — a gesture — it was a solemn reminder that although we occupy different parts of the country, have different interests, root for different teams and live different ways of life, we are all Americans.

About 36,000 people signed up for this year’s 26.2 mile marathon. People from all walks of life are coming together to not only run, but to honor the lives lost and the people injured a year ago. A total of 36,000 people are coming together to show that we, as a country, are stronger than terrorism, brave in the face of cowardice. Running is often an emotional experience and running 26.2 miles takes a strong mental aptitude and work ethic. Completing a marathon, for most people, is the culmination of an intense, consistent and relentless body of work. For those participating in this year’s race, despite considerable tragedy and heartbreak, the emotion of the race has only been compounded.

I can only hope the people who had the courage to run this year’s marathon might have felt some small sense of closure as they crossed the finish line. The injuries and trauma the attack caused will linger, but time has the power to heal emotional wounds. This week, my thoughts are with Boston. Sports are not real life, but they can help people heal and bring communities together. They remind us that while we may be different, we’re all Americans. This week, we are all Boston Strong.

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