Marathon Massacre: How a NYC graduate of Boston College feels

I am a Boston College alum. I wear this badge of honor with the same pride I do being a son of Brooklyn. My affiliation with the best college town in the country means a lot. That's not to say that the rivalry, sometimes in fun, sometimes quite serious, between New Yorkers and Bostonians weren't real. But what was even more real was the mutual respect I felt between the two sides. As young people who ventured to Boston for college, it became more than a city where we attended school. It  became a home away from home. We met the people who would become family. We met the professors that would inspire in us change and growth. We met administrators who would irrevocably change who we were and what we wanted in our lives. Boston symbolized not only home, but rebirth. We became the men and women we hoped college would help develop.

The Boston Marathon as a college student was the most awesome day on the calendar. Marathon Monday as it is called was a full day party. As a student at Boston College, we had the unique privilege of having the marathon run through campus. Our mornings would begin at 9am. We would wake up, have breakfast, imbibe in a few alcohol beverages and line the route to cheer on the thousands of runners who would pass us by. Eventually we would end up in the Mods, playing music, partying, eating and participating in joyous revelry that only Boston area college students could understand. Almost without fail, the sun would be shining, new friends would be made and the day would be grand.

Unfortunately that all changed yesterday, when the day that we as students love so much, became a place of carnage. Twin bombs let off in the middle of Copley Square maimed dozens and took the lives of some as well. I was nothing short of hurt and pained at this. I just got back from Boston at 2am Monday morning from a weekend of growth and development at Boston College's Black Family Weekend and Boston College's Day of Service. I was near the Copley area Saturday night. I know what it looks like to experience terrorism in the worst way, on what should be a great day.

I was taken back to the dark day of 9/11 when I heard the planes (having originated from Boston) pierce the skies over lower Manhattan and crash into the towers less than a mile from where I attended high school. It reminded me of the carnage that people of all ages and stripes should not have to see. Unfortunately Boston and New York are reunited again in a canopy of pain that feels all too familiar. Boston know that New Yorkers stand with you, angry, hurt, but stoic. Know that your adopted children who you took in as college students and raised well feels your pain in a very real sense. Know that the act of cowardice will not keep you down. Stand up and give a hearty Boston cheer to those that decided that hate would conquer love on that beautiful spring Monday.

The marathon will come back next year. And I know that many of your children will return home to run and cheer it on. And frankly that's the best way to overcome tragedy. As the saying goes "weeping will last a night, but joy cometh in the morning." Here's hoping for many more joyous mornings for my second home. 


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