It seems ridiculous to think about anything else right now other than the tragedy that occurred in Boston on Monday, but just as America did after 9/11, the country must hold strong and try to move on. Boston will try to “get back to normal,” but the truth is, the city may never be the same.
Patriots Day is a Massachusetts holiday. It’s a day that has extra meaning for everybody in the state, and those from the area are prideful of the fact the Boston Marathon is their event. Monday’s events were filled with horror. However, if there’s a silver lining, it’s that Bostonians stepped up and showed just how great they are.
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As always, sports will play a major role in helping heal the wounds. Whether it’s simple tweets by current Red Sox players like Jon Lester or Shane Victorino professing their love for the city or former players going on ESPN and talking about how they expect such a great city to lift itself up. Every little bit means a lot. With the Bruins and Celtics gearing up for playoff runs, there is no doubt that much attention will be focused on them in the coming weeks, but ultimately, Boston is a baseball town and how the Red Sox play in the coming weeks could have an immense impact on how fast the community heals.
The supporting tweets made by Lester, Victorino and Will Middlebrooks, and the pride in which they spoke of the city, show the bond between the athletes (especially the Red Sox) and the city. Boston is a fanatical sports city. It has seen the highs and the lows of sports, but an event this tragic is not even comparable to any losing season. All of the sudden, a double by Jacoby Ellsbury may mean a lot more than it did a few days ago. The effect that America’s pastime has on any city after such an event is enormous.
By no means am I trying to say that a baseball result is in any way as important as the efforts put forth by first responders. They are the real “stars” when all is said and done, but you have to agree that the way the Yankees and Mets responded in the days following 9/11 had a direct impact on how New York recovered. The way that Mike Piazza and Derek Jeter carried themselves served, in many cases, as examples for how the rest of the city should respond.
The bond between a city like Boston and its teams is a great one. It can only be matched by a handful of other cities in the United States, and there is no doubt the city will cling to the Red Sox in any way it needs to. Some may use it to escape the horrible realities of this historical event. Others may look at the games as a way for Boston to show that it will not back down to anybody.
Events like Monday’s put everything into perspective. Sure, many of us live with our teams and the results that come from a simple ballgame may change our moods for the night or have an effect emotionally on us, but overall, baseball is just a game. It is an escape from everyday life. A chance for us “normal” folks to sit back and relax. However, the games this week may have a little more of an emotional meaning for those from Boston.
The sports section of the Chicago Tribune said it best Tuesday when it showed solidarity by saying they are the Chicago Red Sox, Chicago Celtics, etc … I hope Boston knows that, for a good while, nothing else matters. We are all Boston Red Sox fans, and we hope that for two hours every night the games the Sox play will help those in Boston escape from Monday’s tragic event.