The Boston Marathon Bombing Anniversary Proves There's A Silver Lining To Every Tragedy
On April 15, 2013, twin bombings rocked the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three, injuring hundreds, and saddening the nation. It's been three years since the tragic event, but the story remains as fresh in many Americans' minds as if it were yesterday. On this anniversary, though, it's perhaps more important to pay attention to the Boston Marathon bombing's silver lining — the bittersweet good that has come since 2013 — rather than to relive the tragedy that caused so much destruction.
Despite the destruction, that silver lining didn't take long to appear. Within about a week of the bombing, crowdfunding sites collected more than $2 million for victims and their families, through more than 23,000 donations. About a month later, some of the world's biggest names in music gathered in Boston for a benefit concert. Performances included Aerosmith, James Taylor, Jimmy Buffet, and New Kids on the Block, among may others. Social media remained flooded with messages of support, including the hashtag #BostonStrong, which has more recently been replicated following tragedies in other cities. The passing of more time has allowed victims, the city of Boston, and the country to heal more, but the urgency to support the recovery effort actually hasn't diminished very much.
Victims' Efforts To Pay It Forward
Thanks to all of those generous donations following the bombing, many victims received sizable amounts of money to go toward their recovery process. This money helped to pay for hospital stays, medical procedures, and prosthetic limbs for those who suffered amputations. Since receiving the money, many victims have set aside funds to start their own nonprofit organizations. Take Heather Abbott, for example. Abbott lost a leg as a result of the bombing, yet she has since founded the Heather Abbott Foundation to help other amputees gain access to customized, high-quality prosthetics.
In addition to her nonprofit work, Abbott has also inspired legislation back in her home state of Rhode Island. On Tuesday, the Rhode Island Senate passed a bill that would allow Ocean State residents who are victims of terrorist attacks in other states to collect money from the Rhode Island Crime Victim Compensation Fund. Back in 2013, Abbott traveled to Boston from Newport, Rhode Island, to participate in the marathon.
The 2016 Boston Marathon
Year after year, the running of the marathon has become the most recognizable symbol of triumph over the 2013 tragedy. This year's marathon will take place on Monday. Among the runners will be Adrianne Haslet-Davis, who lost a leg at the 2013 bombing, where she was just a spectator. Her team is aptly called "Adrianne Strong," and she'll be running to raise money for a nonprofit that supports amputees.
As the annual crowds flock to Boston this week, it's reassuring first and foremost to see that the tragedy of three years ago hasn't stopped the annual celebration that is the marathon. Even if you're nowhere near Boston on the anniversary, it's more important to use the day to reflect on the success stories that have developed in the years since the bombing than to harbor any anger or resentment toward the attackers. Here's to another year of the entire country staying #BostonStrong.