Protect This House

David Bates / April 17, 2013-7:25 pm

On Monday, the residents of Boston suffered a collective home invasion.

A murderer entered our house in broad daylight, amidst everyman’s footrace, and the murderer murdered innocent inhabitants in our house.

Outside, while our brethren used their limbs to support causes of humanity, the murderer maimed inhumanely. While our sisters proved what the human spirit is capable of, the murderer proved what we thought the human spirit should be incapable of.

One message to our dedicated public servants: Protect this house!

One message to the talented doctors who today aid the wounded: Protect this house!

In my own household, news of the awful events of April 15 came first from my wife’s cellphone, a message from family in Ecuador asking if she was O.K. Unlike at least 176 other families and the figurative trees that surround those families, everyone in my family was O.K. I can’t say I truly felt the incredible pain of the day’s tragic events until the picture and the story of the family of 8-year-old Martin Richard came to light. Today, when I hug my three kids, all aged seven and under, I tear up thinking of the Richard family. And, as the day goes on and more names and stories are released, I know that tears will return to my eyes as sure as traffic will return to the Southeast Expressway.

What’s more symbolic of Boston than Patriots’ Day? This is a day that starts with a reenactment of our region’s ancestors openly taking on British regulars; a day when our New England work ethic is symbolized by the beloved home team playing a morning game; a day when our city invites people from all over the world to come and try to win our Marathon.

And because the murderer’s attack came on this day, it seemed personal. It seemed as if the city had become just one person, in one house, and the murderer was trying to kill that person named Boston. And so perhaps, it is no wonder that the events at another symbol of Boston and Bostonians, the JFK Library, immediately seemed a part of the murderer’s plan. Fortunately, today it seems these events were not connected. And it made me think that although our house suffered something terrible and tragic, we cannot let ourselves be victimized by it.

This house, Boston, a bastion of “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore,” will rise up.

This house, the city of champions, will bounce back.

This house will remain in the future—as it has been for most of its days prior to April 15, 2013—a house upon a hill, a shining example, visible to the rest of the world.

I took my son, Jack, down to the finish line. Little did we know, not even 24-hours later, the site would be the focus of world's attention.

I took my son, Jack, down to the finish line. Little did we know, not even 24-hours later, the site would be the focus of world’s attention.