It’s been a pretty hard day for a lot of people, and our hearts go out to the families of the injured and the dead in Boston, where two bombs exploded at the end of the Boston Marathon on Patriot’s Day. 140+ are injured and 3 are dead.
It is both hard to fathom the attack on Boston, and yet it is so familiar to all of us who lived through 9/11. The smoke and the chaos, the fear and the anger, the hurt and heroism.
Tomorrow is Emancipation Day in the District, a holiday to celebrate the freeing of the slaves in DC during the waning days of the Civil War. There will be a parade and a festival downtown at Freedom Plaza, and many businesses and offices will close for the day. It won’t be quite the same atmosphere as a Patriot’s Day in Boston – really, what is? – but there will be eyes on the city tomorrow as it celebrates in public.
MPD and Metro have already gone to heightened states of alert, though there are no disclosed threats to the metro area or to our transit systems. And yet, I worry for my city tonight, afraid of what tomorrow brings. Then I saw what my friend and fellow editor Dave Levy wrote tonight: The Sun Rises on Boston Tomorrow. This is not a city afraid, or a city reeling and listing, it is a city rising up.
If Boston rises tomorrow, unafraid and unfaltering, then the District must rise with them, unafraid and unfaltering. Tomorrow is Emancipation Day, when District residents will take to the halls of Congress to lobby for statehood and local control. Tomorrow, we march in celebration of freedom ordained by our founding documents for all citizens regardless of their skin color. Be vigilant, tomorrow, and be observant, but do not be afraid.
It feels insincere to tell a city not to worry when there are real dangers out there, but I know that this town, like our friends in New England, is full of those who meet danger with courage, fear with resolve, and meet challenges like this with strength and determination.
We stand with our friends in Boston tomorrow, and every day, determined not to let fear get the better of us, and to meet the difficulties of life with help and with support for each other.
So say we all.