Reflection Written By Alyssa McCord
It’s over. One suspect is dead, while one suspect is in custody after a nearly daylong locked-down and sheltered-in city and manhunt, along with a week that has seemed more like a nightmare that we just couldn’t wake up from. Anxiety is still sky high throughout the city as many questions remain unanswered and our hearts remain undeniably heavy – but we are not afraid, and we will never be afraid.
I’ve always heard that the moment you let fear consume your heart is when the terrorists win – and that’s what these men are. They are terrorists. Whether they’re affiliated with a foreign group that is targeting America, or they’re just a pair of angry brothers who have let evil and hate consume their lives, as only cowards do, the fact of the matter remains to be that they are terrorists. They wanted to kill us. They wanted to hurt us. They wanted terror to consume our lives, and while they succeeded with killing and hurting a large part of our beautiful Boston family, they have still failed because we, the people of Boston, refuse to let terror into our lives, into our city, and into our hearts.
Moments after finding out that the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing was alive and in custody, I joined hundreds of Boston residents on the corner of Hemenway St. and Symphony Rd. in celebrating the ferociously brave Boston Police Department, Mass. State Police Department, FBI, and countless other unshakable and tenacious organizations that have restored safety and peace to the place that I call home. With nonstop cheering, we celebrated that we have gotten what we have all been fighting for all week – justice. We have achieved justice against violence, we have achieved justice against terror, and we have achieved justice against these men who mistakenly thought that they were stronger than us.
Although reports say that they have been residents of the Boston metro area for several years, it is important for the world to know that this is not their home. They didn’t understand the things that only one can understand if you are lucky enough to have Boston in your soul. They didn’t understand that Boston is a city that doesn’t give up – no matter the terrifying and life-threatening odds that may face us. They didn’t understand that Boston is a city that loves fearlessly, whether that love is for our city or for our fellow Bostonians. More importantly, they certainly didn’t understand that Boston cannot be shaken. Boston was and never will be home for individuals like Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev. We will now continue to go to sleep every night in our home, but we will rest easy knowing that people with terror in their hearts will never be a part of it – and as we begin to heal, we will continue to be fiercely reminded by the tragic losses of Martin Richard, Krysten Campbell, Lingzi Lu, and MIT police officer Sean Collier, that we are not guaranteed more time in our home and on this Earth than what we have at this very moment.
This is exactly what we will do to continue fighting against terror and people who think that they have a right to hurt our city. We can learn from the senseless and heartless violence that has plagued Boston this week and we can show these monsters that violence did not, and will not, win in our town. We will use these tragedies as a reminder to hug our loved ones a little tighter, and far more often. We’ll call our moms and dads and brothers and sisters as often as possible, so they may have the comfort of consistently knowing that we are safe, and that we love them. We will help those in need whenever moments may present themselves, just as those phenomenally selfless heroes did on Marathon Monday, and just as those tirelessly fighting for our safety have done everyday since and will continue to do in the days coming. We’ll show them that, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that”, because anyone who has ever been to Boston knows that we are a city that walks with light and with love, and no amount of sheer terror can take that away from us.
We have all lived through a horrifying, raw, and violent nightmare this week in Boston, with what seems like the entire world watching intensely, but now it’s our turn – we now get to show the world that we have decided that the nightmare is over. We will show them that nothing can stop us from walking through these city streets with our heads held high and our hearts filled with love. We’ll show them that we will run again – for those who can’t anymore, and for those who dream to do so in the future. We’ll show them that we are fearless, in only the way Bostonians can be. But most importantly – we’ll show them that we aren’t just strong… we are Boston-strong, and nothing will ever change that.