April 15th is a day in sports history that is supposed to remind all of us about the hate we overcame as a people many decades ago. Jackie Robinson broke the color-barrier becoming the first African-American to play in Major League baseball, despite the social obstacles that lay in his way both politically and physically.
One year ago on April 15th, the Boston Marathon was bombed by two brothers who reminded us about the hate that is possible on this earth. One year ago, we were supposed to cower in fear about the possibility that at any time and in any place, hate can strike without warning, and can take away the ones that we love.
But one year ago, we also had a refresher course in what we are capable of when we are faced with adversary. About 60 years ago, Jackie Robinson slowly gained the respect of his teammates and fans that initially didn’t believe he belonged. He had to deal with unspeakable acts of racism, and had to live in constant fear that himself, or the ones he was closest with would be attacked by those who didn’t like the color of his skin.
In Boston on April 15, 2013, we saw all types of people, helping the injured get to safety and to medical tents. We saw people from different backgrounds looking out for one another during the frenetic scene that took place after both bombs went off at the finish line. But in the days that followed, after the the cowards were shot and caught, after the aura of fear had disappeared from the city of Boston’s aura, we saw people evolve.
The people of Boston didn’t just return to their daily lives, but they enhanced them. Constant reminders of what had happened, and how no one could shake their city were displayed on the sports platform. David Ortiz’s speech resonates not just with Boston sports fans, but fans all over the world. He sent a message that wasn’t just his, but rather the entire population of Boston.
Boston Strong wasn’t just a phrase, but rather a mantle that the city used to put forth its sturdy belief that nothing could beat them. A city that had been looked-down upon by fans from other cities wasn’t pitied for what had happened, but rather praised for its response. People outside of Boston were backing the “Boston Strong” slogan, not for themselves, but as an expression to commemorate how the people of Boston reacted.
April 15th will still be a day in sports that reminds us of what we have had to overcome as a people. There is still evil that resonates with that date, and that can never be fully erased from the annals of history. However, April 15th will ultimately be remembered as a day of change and progress. For it was the accepting and the strength of people to stand up for themselves, or for their city that will always make April 15th the day that will tell future generations that no matter what is thrown your way, you will overcome it. That is the lesson that Jackie Robinson would want to share with us today, especially during times of grief like that of April 15, 2013.
Tags: Boston Marathon