After the bombing shattered the Boston Marathon last year, hundreds of runners left their shoes behind in a spontaneous memorial. Many wrote messages on them.
Those are now part of an exhibit at the Boston Public Library—but thousands of people added pairs of their own running shoes to an outdoor memorial in addition to cards and flowers over the past few days.
Boston was a tragic reminder that terrorists still seek to do us harm, but the survivors have amazed the country. Brothers Paul and J.P. Norden each lost a leg in the attack last year. Yesterday, CNN reported that they set out to walk the 26.2-mile marathon route with family and friends.
As President Obama said: “One year later, we also stand in awe of the men and women who continue to inspire us—learning to stand, walk, dance and run again.”
Following memorials in Boston yesterday, this year’s marathon will take place on April 21. It will be the second-largest in the history of the race, with 36,000 official participants. Security will be tighter; spectators won’t be able to join in and run alongside registered runners, and there will be restrictions on bringing backpacks into the area.
Those changes show the continued adaptability of security and law enforcement personnel on the ground—who responded bravely to the bombing last year. It is imperative that individual Americans remain vigilant and that our leaders continue to take a proactive approach to stopping terrorism.
Terrorists have succeeded in attacking the U.S. homeland four times since 9/11, including the Boston Marathon bombing, which killed three people and wounded at least 264 others. But more than 50 plots have been thwarted before the public was in danger. At the one-year anniversary of the Boston attack, it is worth taking a moment to be thankful for all the safe events the nation has held in the past year.
And thank you, Boston, for leading the way—for reminding us all that the people of your city, and America, will not be intimidated.
“It is time to take back Boylston Street and to take back the finish line,” said race director Dave McGillivray. “It is time to run again.”
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