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Introduction from 26 Miles to Boston:
The Boston Marathon is life itself. For a hundred years the Mecca of all running events has been a metaphor for the world around it. As the world has evolved, the Boston Marathon has evolved with it.
Each April, people from every corner of the world travel thousands of miles to run twenty-six. Nowhere on the face of the earth do more people from more diverse backgrounds gather for a one-day event. The Boston Marathon is a celebration of tradition, a celebration of health and fitness, a celebration of life.
How can an event of such happiness and innocence morph into such a state of sadness? How can the spirit of Johnny Kelly, the love of the Hoyts and the bliss of Marathon day give way to such an act of malicious intent? How can the same arena provide a stage for both joy and tragedy; happiness and pain; smiles and tears? It was in the last 385 yards that the best of mankind gave way to the worst.
Here in Boston, on a day that celebrates victory over tyranny, a force of evil ignited its objective upon good leaving a scar upon this great city that will never fully heal. It was on the sidewalk of Boylston Street that sanity gave way to sanguine sorrow. Where smoke casted a cloud of diabolical discontent.
Since the day explorers landed on the City on the Hill, its citizens have subsisted and thrived with great fortitude and blessed resilience. It will take every ounce of Boston’s collective will to heal and persevere.
But to heal we must ask the question: How many more moments of perspective do we need in our lives? Wasn’t the day that lived in infamy, the fires at the Coconut Grove and Venodome and gun shots in Dallas and a Charlestown end zone sufficient motivation? Why do we have to be shocked to turn to family, neighbor and God? Why aren’t actions of positive impact a way of being as opposed to random moments of aberration?
To move forward – there must be hope. And maybe that hope was personified above the plume of smoke in the image of three yellow balloons that floated toward the heavens. Maybe these balloons were the souls of the deceased, an image of hope or was it a reminder of purpose? But what is our purpose, our responsibility, our calling? Over a decade ago, we watched as two towers were reduced to ashes. We came home and cried and made promises to change, to act, to live a life worthy of our blessings. But somewhere along this race of life we find ourselves too often struggling through the troughs of our existence. It is now that we must decide to push forward choosing our own course before someone else does it for us.