Five years ago, a few feet from the Boston Public Library, twin bombs went off on Boylston Street during the Boston Marathon.
Just before those blasts, most of us hadn’t heard the phrase “shelter in place.” We didn’t appreciate that bystanders could be first responders. We had never uttered the words "Boston Strong" or appreciated Fenway Park as a place for communal catharsis, nor did we understand what it took to lead a rattled public out of the dark. But as former governor Deval Patrick told Boston Public Radio, the tragedy forced the city to come together.
"We are a village here, and we don't always remember that, but we were reminded of that, I think, in the aftermath of the [marathon bombing]," Patrick said. "I think it's enormously important to keep drawing on that in good times and in bad."
Patrick further discussed the bombing and its aftermath, what it meant to be governor then, and how he thinks about that time, five years later.
“Just as we cannot permit darkness and hate to triumph over our spiritual faith, so we must not permit darkness and faith to triumph over our civic faith. That cannot happen. And it will not," Patrick said. "So we will recover and repair. We will grieve our losses and heal. We will rise and we will endure. We will have accountability without vengeance. Vigilance without fear, and we will remember, I hope and pray, long after the buzz of Boylston Street is back and the media have turned their attention elsewhere, that the grace this tragedy exposed is the best of who we are."