I drove to Boston today to take one of my daughters to catch a train at South Station. I wasn’t sure what to expect, driving downtown. I knew Boylston Street was still closed, as well as Copley Square, but I don’t drive in Boston every day, so I didn’t know how it would impact us.
Turns out it didn’t. Traffic down I-93 into the city at 10:30 in the morning was a piece of cake, and it was a beautiful, sunny day, to boot. We zipped through the tunnel and popped out right in front of the station, as always. And as always, it’s not that simple – we have to sort of drive around our elbow to actually GET to the station, but after driving it about a thousand times, I finally have it down.
When we came out of the tunnel and sat at a red light, the street corner had cops in protective gear, holding some big, serious looking guns. I was taken aback for a moment; and then I smiled. I felt safe. Boston cops are bad-asses, and add a semi-automatic rifle (or maybe automatic, for all I know) and they become MAJOR bad-asses.
We found a $7-per-half-hour garage (typical) and walked the block to the station. Inside was business as usual, other than the incredible police presence, which again, was wonderful.
After my daughter was safely on the train, I jumped back on the highway. I scanned the radio stations, always happy with the huge variety on the airwaves when I go to Bean Town. But rather than peppy driving music, I was fortunate to catch President Obama’s speech at the Memorial Service for the tragedy at the Boston Marathon.
The transcript for the speech is here: President Obama Speech
Or watch the entire speech here: Video of Obama Speech
I strongly suggest watching it or reading it, if you didn’t get a chance to hear it or see it live.
I just want to say that I was moved by that speech. I’m not a fan of the president and I don’t agree with his politics (nor his tendency to inappropriately politicize so many of his speeches) but I have to hand it to him today – he totally hit this one out of the park. It was a phenomenal speech that captured the significance of the occasion, rallied the people of Boston, and encouraged steadfastness and patriotism in America.
The attack at the Marathon was a grievous thing to us all, because as the president said so eloquently, “For millions of us, what happened on Monday is personal.”
And then he put salve on the wound with these words: “You’ve shown us, Boston, that in the face of evil, Americans will lift up what’s good. In the face of cruelty, we will choose compassion. In the face of those who would visit death upon innocents, we will choose to save and to comfort and to heal. We’ll choose friendship. We’ll choose love.”
Lastly, he empowered the city of Boston and the nation at large, by spurring us on to be strong and to press on: “That’s why a bomb can’t beat us. That’s why we don’t hunker down. That’s why we don’t cower in fear. We carry on. We race. We strive. We build, and we work, and we love -- and we raise our kids to do the same. And we come together to celebrate life, and to walk our cities, and to cheer for our teams. When the Sox and Celtics and Patriots or Bruins are champions again -- to the chagrin of New York and Chicago fans -- the crowds will gather and watch a parade go down Boylston Street. And this time next year, on the third Monday in April, the world will return to this great American city to run harder than ever, and to cheer even louder, for the 118th Boston Marathon. Bet on it!”
Yes – BET ON IT.
Thank you, Mr. President.
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