The Boston Marathon terror attack basically coincided with the opening of this Boston Red Sox baseball season and now the World Series victory parade will end it, the largest public gathering of sports fans in the city since the marathon bombing in April.
Red Sox fans won’t just be celebrating the first baseball title won in the city since 1918, their presence will be a tangible sign of the ability of sports to unite our communities and help to heal our wounds.
Just over six months ago homegrown terrorists attacked the Boston Marathon and the city of Boston recoiled in disgust. Like all terror attacks it was a vile and cowardly act propagated by cowards with no true grievance. Innocent victims paid the ultimate price.
As the city grappled with the powerful emotions of the attack, David Ortiz crystallized a city’s resilience with his comments at the first home game after the attacks, "This is our f—–g city," Ortiz said to massive cheers in Fenway Park. It was a cathartic moment for a city that was still grieving, sports bandaging and helping to heal the wounds of sports.
Since that time much has happened in Boston, one terrorist is dead, the other is hidden away in a maximum security prison. Seasons have come and gone. But when the celebration moves through Boston’s November streets, the city will continue the process of healing. Parents will be nervous, families will be a bit jumpier than they were before in crowds, but the powers of sporting unity will win the day.
As they’ve won so many days before and will continue to win the days in the future.
In our modern society, riven by discord and all too often stratified by issues of race, class, religion, and politics, sports is our last uniter, the undying bond that can’t be shattered no matter the enemy, no matter how devious and underhanded the assault might be.
After the grief comes the celebration.
Saturday, at long last, is Boston’s chance to shine as a sporting city, coming together as one unified group.