Today, Boston mourns. The events that have led us here have been widely reported. They have also escaped description. Words of mourning and loss have their limits.
Things have changed indelibly in our city, and our words have described that, but they do not compare to the heaviness in our hearts, the lumps in our throats, or the tears in our eyes. Our grief is a silent one, because the words that would contain it cannot be found.
Likewise, words of comfort and hope cannot be contained. But those we have in abundance, and we are thankful for them.
Boston, today, is a case of the human condition: that our emotions are conflicted – that they coexist despite their divergence – that at the same time we grieve, we hope.
We have heard words that inspire us today, from our religious leaders, our mayor, our governor, and our president. Even these words cannot contain our hope, because long after their utterance, our hearts will still be lifted, our song will still be sung, and our eyes will still shine bright. These speakers have given us more than words: they have reminded us that we are the City of Boston, and we are not just strong, we are Boston strong.
Think to your childhood, about what strong meant then. Strong was sixty home runs, strong was Superman saving Metropolis. To me, strong seemed superhuman because I didn’t know what it was. Today, I know it is not simply physical or emotional; it comes from one’s will. It is the knowledge not necessarily of what to do (and whether you are prepared or not), but the setting out to do something because it is right.
In its response to this tragedy, Boston has shown its strength, and Boston is beautiful for it. Let us all do something (even something small) to keep Boston beautiful – plant flowers, paint a picture, run, write.
Boston, you are loved.