Boston Strong

Boston Strong

A Story by Mica

I was one of the thousands in attendance at the Bruins-Sabres game on Wednesday, April 17th, and it was an experience I will never forget as long as I live.


     Moments after cheering their team onto the ice, the 17,000+ people packed into TD Garden fall into a deeply reverent silence in honor of those affected by the tragedy of a couple days prior. The fluid strumming of Phillip Phillips gently breaks the quietude, and those in attendance raise their bowed heads towards the Jumbotron broadcasting images from the Marathon. After a series of heart-wrenching shots depicting on-scene reactions to the horrors on Boylston Street, the building erupts with enthusiastic applause when photos of the countless brave responders are shown, turning the previous tears of grief into tears of immense pride.

     Then, Rene Rancourt steps out onto the ice, and the thousands of fans in attendance raise their voices as one and sing our national anthem together. There were liberals and conservatives, Christians and atheists, African Americans and Caucasians, Bruins fans and Sabres fans, and none of that mattered. For a night, it was all about coming out and honoring the victims of Monday’s events and putting on display the solidarity of Boston and the unwavering strength of its people.  

     From when the Bruins took to the ice for their pre-game warmups and beyond, it was far more than just a hockey game. Beyond giving Bostonians an outlet to briefly escape from what happened to their city, this game gave people a chance to root for their city in one of the most spirited ways possible, from cheering on the team to celebrating those who courageously responded on Monday. And as Buffalo Sabre Thomas Vanek proved with his organization of the teams’ post-game stick-salute to the crowd, it was an opportunity to pull together on a larger scale to help support getting through this tragedy as one collective. Chants of “USA” and “We are Boston” abounded, and although they quickly collapsed out of sync, the pride was there and impossible to ignore. 

     President Obama knew what he was talking about when he labeled Boston as a resilient city. Really, it’s true what they say that the worst of moments can bring out the best in people, and as the city of Boston pulls together in its time of need, the feelings of terror and helplessness born of such a cowardly act are countered with a strong sense of pride, patriotism, and above all else community. 

     Although a hockey game is low on the list of priorities for a city recovering from a senseless act of terror, the goodwill it generated was irreplaceable. Everyone attending and watching the game knew it was going to be emotional, but that general emotional description doesn’t even begin to cover what level of passion it actually touched. It meant so much more than the points the Bruins stood to gain in the standings, and the fact that they dropped the contest in the shootout was of no consequence to that fact. It sent the message that we are Boston, a city of champions, and we are strong.

© 2013 Mica

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Added on April 19, 2013
Last Updated on April 20, 2013
Tags: hockey, bruins, sabres, boston, strong, nhl, pride



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