Today is Marathon Monday, a celebration of Patriots' Day, and a proud exhibition of what it means to be Boston Strong. The Red Sox play with a crowd of spectacularly enthused fans, charged up by the spirit of the day. When the game is over, Fenway spills out into Kenmore Square to add their voices, rooting on the marathoners crossing the finish line.
The Boston Marathon began in 1897 as a tribute to the first Olympic marathon the previous summer. It is the longest running marathon in history. Half a million spectators will line the route with cheers, encouragement, and awe.
Participants come from all walks of life from around the world. The local community spreads to a sense of global community.
Amateur and professional athletes compete against each other, and against themselves. Millions of dollars are raised for charities as participants join teams or solo endeavours for local causes. The altruism, dedication, and exertion of these athletes is inspiring.
All people are welcome to participate, attend, or follow athletes on live maps and television. The Boston Marathon is increasingly striving to be more inclusive so people of all abilities can achieve the dream of wearing their tag, racing for whatever motivates them. Currently, the Boston Marathon includes divisions for runners, hand cycles, and pushrim wheelchairs. Everyone can experience the thrill of belonging.
It is with this goal of inclusivity that I took stock of my website today. I am not an athlete, and I am not a spectator. But I am in my way cheering on all of us, to achieve our goals, to follow our dreams, and to find strength within ourselves in each other. My site is now improved to make it more accessible and easier to navigate for people who experience visual impairments, colour blindness, blindness, hearing impairments, motor impairments, seizures, PTSD, and people on the autism spectrum. Improved site accessibility is my contribution to the spirit of today. Teamwork makes the dream work!
Dear readers, on this important day, I am sharing with you a powerful poem written by a Massachusetts man who at the age of 85 has recently published his first volume of poetry, "Too Soon We Forget." Al Wenckus, Sr. has captured the spirit of what the Boston Marathon means to so many of us. We are Boston Strong!
from "Too Soon We Forget" by Al Wenckus, Sr.
We are Boston Strong
We want the world to know
How we care for one another
In our hearts the love will show
No matter what they try to do
Or try to take us down
Our spirit will not be broken
Remember this is Beantown
The sadness and the heartbreak
Will always stay in our minds
Of those that suffered the pain
And those that were so kind
We celebrate our heroes
With our hearts full of sadness
For the anguish and the pain
For the innocent among us
To try and break our spirit
In a time that we all belong
In a world sometimes unknown
To say it very best
We are Boston Strong