By Randy Pierce
I did not run the 117th Boston marathon and I was safely at home listening to results of many friends on Patriots Day 2013. A very significant part of me was there, however, and a very beautiful part of it will be with me forever more as a result.
One day earlier I’d run the festive finish line route in the BAA 5k with my good friend Jennifer and of course with the Mighty Quinn Guiding me on a course no Guide Dog had previously worked. While I saw none of it, the energy surrounded us both. Quinn enthusiastically responded with extra exuberance because even one day before the main event, the incredible community of this race had already arrived to support people expressing the freedom and accomplishment of rising to a challenge.
One day later, the marathon’s official race would finish at the same point and the community of support surrounding every aspect of this incredibly inspiring event. Some will tell how the finish was marred by a horrific act of senseless cruelty. I see a different and far more positive ending.
I won’t deny any of the tragedy, horror, or terror but fortunately it didn’t end there. Immediately the same Boston community that creates this unparalleled experience of the Marathon reacted with the heroism and selfless determination which is the beauty in such things.
My friend and 2020 VQ volunteer, Rick Stevenson, shared with me a popular quote from Mr. Rogers’ mother for times when it seemed it wasn’t a beautiful day in the neighborhood. She suggested that at such times we “Watch the Helpers.” I did watch them, from the famous folk like Joe Andruzzi, to the incredible medical teams running into danger, to the common person surging into action to do the right thing and help. It’s overwhelming to see the human spirit in full glory and this day in Boston we did.
I could try to say a lot more about the power of this community but a race runner gave us exactly the written record everyone should read. As such let me simply send you to his work: