Boston Strong

It’s been a little over a week since downtown blew up and everything went to hell, but since then Boston Strong has become the catchphrase for how we’ve all held up.  The whole tough New Englander attitude, some would say “crusty”, is well known.  We’re tough people and down through generations we’ve been through a lot.

I have no idea who it was who coined the phrase.  I hope it wasn’t some marketing VP somewhere who’s made a mint from it.  It has helped, and it has spawned Watertown Strong and Collier Strong, on their own indications of what we’ve been through separately and together and how we’ll persevere.

Check out some of the images, below the cut, that have come up in the last week plus that I’ve liked the best or that I think are the funniest representation of Boston Strong.

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We will bounce back

Now that I have had some time to sort of process the events of the past week, I think I have managed to sort it all out inside my head.  And so yesterday when a friend and parishioner asked me how I was doing and what I made of all this, I told him what I thought.

I said “This is Boston.  We’ll bounce back.  We always do.”

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Maybe this is the new normal?

At least for now.

We’re 48 hours out from the bombings and things are… different.  It isn’t just the obvious police presence or the national guard people in uniform everywhere.  Things are different.  Yesterday everything was eerily calm, almost like the afternoon of 9/11 when all flights were grounded and nobody knew what was going on, except that yesterday there were helicopters in the air overhead and we were all waiting.

Waiting for news of who else was going to die.  Waiting to hear from that last person or two that we hadn’t yet heard from.  Waiting for news from the police, the feds, the various hospitals.  Waiting.  It was like life in suspended animation.

We were going to work and going through the motions, but everyone was asking the same thing, “Should we be doing this?”  “Is this appropriate?”  “What is the right thing to do now?”

Nobody has an answer for that.  There is no single answer when there is a 15 block long scar in the middle of your city that was carved out by a coward with bombs, a bone to pick with humanity, a need to see his human fears and frailty writ large on the TV, and not enough guts or intelligence to make the change he wants to see from within the system.

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