Patriots’ Day has a long tradition here in Massachusetts -- it’s the day we hold the Boston Marathon, and the day we celebrate our state’s leading role in the American Revolution.
This year it marks something else. It is a day that reminds us of the strength of the foundation on which our Boston, our state and our country stand.
Last year’s Boston Marathon will forever be etched in our memories for the terror and tragedy brought upon the city by the Tsarnaev brothers. The brothers killed three people -- including 8-year-old Martin Richard -- and injured and maimed more than 260 others. These cowardly and evil brothers exacted their twisted agenda on a city and a nation that had given them a chance at a better and freer life. They flung pain and suffering on hundreds who had come out to watch a sporting event that celebrates some of best human qualities -- liberty, fortitude and endurance.
Immediately after the bombs detonated, we witnessed the strength of Bostonians and Bay Staters in the face of adversity. In the chaos, hundreds cooly administered aid and saved lives. Boston’s sophisticated network of hospitals and health workers demonstrated their ability to effectively handle a “mass casualty event.”
In the days that followed, as the Tsarnaev brothers hid in the shadows, they saw that they had not spread the fear and panic that they no doubt hoped for. Instead, Bostonians showed their resilience, their unity and their humanity in the face of an unknown and dangerous threat.
And in the last few hours, we saw Watertown police officers bravely face down the Tsarnaevs as a fury of bullets and homemade bombs were hurtled at them. Surprised and outgunned, the first officers on the scene held their ground, and no doubt saved Boston and New York from what promised to be a bloody reign of terror.