Today is Patriot’s Day in Boston, and it marked the 10th running of the Boston Marathon since the evil Tsarnaev brothers planted bombs near the finish line, killing three and injuring more than 250 others in 2013. Survivors of that horrible tragedy who have overcome evil with good were there today, on a day that also commemorates the pre-Revolutionary War battle of Lexington and Concord.
In 1897, the Boston Marathon was scheduled to occur annually on a Patriots’ Day holiday to commemorate the historic battle between colonists and the British. Six years later, the Boston Americans (now Red Sox) began playing home games every year on Patriots Day as well.
In 2013, brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev planted their bombs near the finish line. It was the day “the ethnic Chechens kicked the lid off hell and tried to scare, coerce, defeat and humiliate the people of Boston in particular and wider America in general,” writes Breitbart’s Simon Kent. “They failed on all counts. The reason is simple. The United States is a land of freedom. It is peopled by some of the most generous and caring men and women on the planet who are happy to work together in common cause.”
Among the victims was one such person -- spectator Heather Abbott, who was blown by the blast through the door of a nearby restaurant. Former New England Patriots lineman Matt Chatham and his wife Erin carried her to safety. Like many of the other bombing victims, she would lose a limb that day. Her left leg was amputated.
In 2014, Abbott started the Heather Abbott Foundation, which donates prostheses to help amputees to walk and more. One hundred people, from ages 5-63, have received artificial limbs through the foundation. They’re now dancing, swimming, surfing, snowboarding, running and playing high school sports.
Each year, Abbott and friends attend a watch party to cheer on the Boston Marathon runners. “To stand by the finish line each year with Abbott’s group is to watch that triumph up close, thousands of times over, and to share it with a set of people who share a singular understanding of one another,” writes Sports Illustrated’s Emma Baccellieri.
It’s ironic that Marcel Hug, of Switzerland, set a course record of 1:17:06 in winning today’s wheelchair race in Boston. This is a race of people who are determined to overcome their handicaps, too.
On another, less inspiring, note, today marked the first day of gender nonsense related to the Boston Marathon, which featured a separate division for transgender and non-binary runners. This is Boston, after all, but at least men were not allowed to enter the women’s division. Kenyans Helen Obiri and Evans Chebet won the women’s and men’s races respectively.