“We built this city, we built this city on rock’n’roll”…Starship performed the song, and the local music video channel, V66 out of Framingham, created a local video to go to the song. The video, circa 1985, displayed scenes all over Boston including the CITGO sign outside of Fenway Park….. Hundreds of times as a preteen, I thought to myself, “we built this city on rock and roll…”
As an adult today, I don’t think we built Boston on rock ‘n’ roll—not exactly. We built this city on love….love for music, love for freedom, love for education, love for tradition…and just plain love for each other.
Boston is my city. Many of us lay claim to this great city—and the more the merrier as far as I’m concerned. After living in the Boston area for 40 (yes 40) years and in Boston proper for 10 years, this is my city.
Tonight, as I think of the city’s spotlight event, our marathon, our beautiful Boston Marathon, being tarnished by violence, it makes me unbearably sad—and mad. We built this city. No one has the right to tear it down. It’s not always easy to live in Boston. It’s expensive. The parking is difficult. The accent is harsh. The driving is crazy. The weather is a challenge. Once you accept these things, you are in. And once you become a Bostonian, you are family. It’s a big, huge, dysfunctional family. I am so proud to be part of it.
The marathon is our passage to spring. We clean up our yards after months (and months) of snow and then we settle in to watch the runners—up close in person—or through Jack William’s eye’s on TV. When we are there, we cheer for the runners…not just the leaders, but for all the runners. Even as a child, I understood that this was one race that was not just about the winners. It’s a complex concept for a kid. The magnitude of the runners running for causes such as Dana Farber and Liver Cancer is so much more important than who actually wins. All the runner are winners and they all inspire me. I used to yell from the sidelines of Comm Ave in my Boston College years to each passing runner, “You amaze me. You beat the hills. You’ve got this girl…” to random strangers. I would have tears of pride in my eyes. I know…it sounds sappy, but it’s the honest truth. And then I’d see the Hoyts. I have no words for their story. It tells itself. They are Boston.
I’m not sure how the investigation will all pan out, but I certainly hope the guilty are brought to justice. The 3 people who lost their lives on Monday represent all of us Bostonians. It could be any of us. I was that student watching the marathon on a beautiful April day, my son is that boy who plays hockey and baseball and was ready for the new little league season to start. My friends were running and their spouses and children were watching and cheering them on. It could have been any one of us. I brought my two babies right to the finish line on Boylston a few years back—still in their stroller. It could have been us. It could have been any one of us….We are Martin. We are Lu. We are Krystle. And we are Boston.
Don’t mess with my town. I live here and I love here. My parents lived and loved here before me. It’s a real town—made of real people. I love Boston. We are Boston!