This has been the case since Sept. 11, 2001, witness the 54 known terrorist plots that had been thwarted since that date until the Boston Marathon bombings Monday, per my previous column. Because those plots were uncovered, some large-scale attacks were prevented — and Americans generally began to feel more secure or at least less concerned about terrorist attacks in this country.
The good news is that the American spirit is alive and well, starting in Boston.
In that city where the twin bombings left three dead and nearly 180 injured, residents immediately began wearing Marathon — or Boston-related clothing. The Boston Bruins had “Boston Strong” decals on their helmets in a Wednesday home game, while runners in the Greater Boston area wore the Marathon yellow and blue on impromptu memorial runs.
A movement is under way to make today “wear Boston” day throughout New England and the entire nation. Melissa Bourgoine, a Suffolk University employee and a graduate student, created a Facebook page to urge everyone to observe today as “Boston Spirit Day” by donning their favorite local team or college colors or hats.
People across the country also are looking for ways to show their support, their empathy and their sense of kinship with the people of Boston. Runners have been “running for Boston” from Atlanta to Seattle, and Texas to New York. In metro Atlanta, from Decatur to Kennesaw, scores of runners took part in a “Mile of Silence” runs.
“Run for Boston,” a Facebook project, was created by Chris Field, a marathon director in College Station, Texas. Yesterday, more than 500 groups “gathered to run literally around the world,” according to a posting on the Facebook page. This project expected hundreds of runs across America and as far away as Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
“Anybody who has an appreciation for what the Boston Marathon stands for takes this personally,” Chris Field said, per the Christian Science Monitor. “Runners are doing what runners do, and that is putting our shoes on and getting back out there even when we get knocked down.”
In Oregon, a reader suggested wearing a running shirt this week and telling people “I’m wearing this because I’m a runner to show that we are here for each other.” An Indianapolis Star writer said, “Runners are family!!” Runners
world.com said there were Boston-backing runs in such places as Emmaus, Pa.; Monterey, Calif.; Burlington, Vt;, New York City; Virginia Beach, Va.; the Washington, D.C. area; and Tallahassee, Fla. Also runners are, or were, running in Asheville and other places in North Carolina.
There were many races in North Carolina, reported Karen Chavez of the Asheville Citizen-Times. She wrote: “Runners are runners wherever you go, and we always stand in solidarity.”
Count me in. I’ll be running in spirit with “Run for Boston.”