ML - Boston Common

2013 - Issue 3 - Summer

Boston Common - Niche Media - A side of Boston that's anything but common.

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Page 129 of 131

and Finally ... PARTING SHOT the strong, silent type THE MARATHON BOMBINGS DIDN'T MAKE US RETREAT; INSTEAD, BOSTON'S QUIET HEROISM SPREAD ACROSS THE COUNTRY, UNIFYING US ALL. BY R.S. COOK B smoke, into the rubble, into the horror, because that's what you do for your fellow man. Unlike other metropolises, Boston is not made up of anonymous faces passing through life detached from one another. We may lay on our horns in traffic and flip each other off, but when you mess with one of us, you mess with us all. Our bullpens empty, our goalies throw off their gloves, our punters make a tackle. Our accents get thicker, and we're no longer from Hingham, or Arlington, or Watertown—we're all from Boston. The very labyrinth that is our city's design ties us into a knot that only gets tighter when someone tries to break it apart. But that can also be said for the country as a whole. When we got attacked, every American became a Bostonian. Even Yankees fans wore Red Sox hats and sang "Sweet Caroline." And it's fitting. It's fitting that the underlying strength that defines our town was inherited by all the other states we gave life to in the founding of this union all those years ago. Every American can roll up his or her sleeves and act gutsy in difficult times—it's part of our cultural DNA. On that day, the world witnessed that we are not only a bastion of democracy and freedom. The world saw that we still wear the calluses of hewing this country out of wilderness, and when it comes to being tough, put us up against anyone. As has been the case and forever shall be, Boston is where this country remembers its brawn, its grit, and its capacity to take a punch and come back as an even stronger, more unified force. BC ILLUSTRATION BY DANIEL O'LEARY oston has never measured greatness in terms of glitz or glamour. Our heroes have never been larger than life. Rather, we're a people who value hard work and humility, acknowledging those who act not for accolades, but out of a sense of what is right and decent. That's why we loved Larry Bird—a lunch-pail ballplayer who hung championship banners from the rafters of the Garden and then went home and mowed his lawn. It's why we love Tom Menino—a public servant of unquestionable vision, and yet eternally the self-effacing "kid from Hyde Park." Our heroes are friends from the neighborhood whom we both identify with and venerate. In raising them up, we all climb a rung of the ladder. Bostonians have always known we are tough, resilient, and, yes, strong. Now it's a slogan, but it's been our unspoken ethos since the beginning. It's a little out of sync with our local character to even have a slogan, since it's not our style to show off. Maybe that's why it seemed so surprising, even a bit unreasonable, when we showed our strength to the world. When we shut down the Commonwealth to find the Marathon bomber, we know other American cities wondered, "Isn't this a bit much to find one person?" What they didn't fully understand was that we all had skin in the game, and Bostonians will go to extremes to stand by what we believe in (flinging rocks from Rockport Harbor during the War of 1812 comes to mind). The heroes of that fateful day in April epitomized this. They ran into the 128 BOSTONCOMMON-MAGAZINE.COM 128_BC_BOB_PartingShot_SUM13.indd 128 6/7/13 12:53 PM

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