August 18, 2018

The Lighter Side of Darkness

As a staff, The Bradford takes a moment to reflect on the events that shape our daily lives on a local, national, and international scale.

Alex Doe ’16

Staff Writer 

When I first heard about the bombings at the Boston Marathon, depressing thoughts and feelings soon followed. Before being detained, the bombers murdered a total of four people; including an 8 year-old boy. However, in the aftermath of this great tragedy, many positive acts have emerged that are being overlooked. While the unfortunate tragedies and the victims of the attack should never be forgotten, neither should the inspiring side of humanity that we have seen from so many Bostonians and people across the country in light of the violence.

Many have come together during this time of adversity to demonstrate unity and togetherness, which has become evident in the world of sports. Not just in Boston, but around the country people have been using time before major sporting events to pay their collective respects to Boston as a way to offer their support. It began in Boston, where just two days after the bombing, the Bruins took the ice against the Buffalo Sabres. Shortly after the Bruins had taken the ice, a video including images from the Boston bombing was played, followed by the message, “We are Boston. We are strong. Boston strong.”

As national anthem singer, Rene Rancourt, walked onto the ice and began to sing, it was clear something unusual was occurring: the Boston crowd was singing every word of the national anthem along with him. Rancourt stopped singing midway through, allowing the world to hear the voice of the City of Boston. As if to say “We are here, we are ok, and we are healing.”

This shared moment of healing, as it turns out, was not an isolated incident. Later that night when the Celtics were being introduced before an away game with the Toronto Raptors, “Sweet Caroline” was played; a song that has become a staple of Boston identity and is played at all Red Sox games.

But perhaps the greatest gesture of all came from the Red Sox’s bitter rivals, the New York Yankees. The Yankees put the greatest rivalry in sports aside to play “Sweet Caroline” before their game, and for one night discarded differences in a great demonstration of unity and respect.

All of these events are examples of how responsive the nation has been to the recent tragedies in Boston, and demonstrates our often-overlooked ability to put our differences aside and support each other in times of difficulty. This sort of togetherness reaches outside of sports, and into charities and fundraisers like The One Fund Boston which has been established, along with other public displays of sympathy and prayer for Boston in cities around the world.

All things considered, this has been an experience that can’t be forgotten, and the pain felt by those affected won’t be washed away. For most, the mental and emotional toll is as much of a burden as the physical, yet it should also be remembered that Boston never stood alone in this time of darkness; that even our most bitter rivals joined us to stand strong against a shared enemy in terrorism.

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