Today is a holiday in our state of Massachusetts – Patriots’ Day. It commemorates the anniversary of the first battles of the American Revolution at Lexington and Concord. It’s the beginning of the New England school phenomenon of “April Vacation”, the only time the Red Sox play at 11 a.m., and of course, it’s Boston Marathon Monday.
Although it’s a significant part of Massachusetts culture, many people outside of our region hadn’t heard of Patriots’ Day until 3 years ago, when the events of that day, and the subsequent several, gave it new meaning and introduced the entire world to our strange little holiday.
It’s a beautiful day today here in the Boston area, sunny and unseasonably warm. Great if you’re watching the marathon, (maybe not if you’re running in it). It’s hard to find someone who isn’t moved by the herculean effort put forth by anyone who participates – runners, volunteers, cheerleaders, and of course now, survivors.
Our city of Boston has always been a place where incredible things happen. Three years later, we’ve seen some wonderful things emerge from the worst imaginable circumstances.
One Fund Boston, established on April 16, 2013, raised $61 million dollars in 75 days, and dispersed 100% of all donations with no overhead expenses before its final distribution in September, 2014. Over 200 survivors and their families received benefits resulting from the donations of over 200,000 individuals spanning 60 countries. These details are well known.
Not as well-known is the fact that 36 members of the community of survivors chose not to be recipients of One Fund benefits. This was so that support and services could be available to those suffering “invisible injuries” such as hearing loss, tinnitus, and mental health issues.
The Martin W. Richard Charitable Foundation, formed by the parents of eight-year-old Martin Richard, the youngest victim killed that day, honors Martin’s message of “No more hurting people. Peace” by investing in education, athletics and community. Today 66 members of “Team MR8” are running, exceeding their $500,000 goal by nearly a quarter of a million dollars. www.teammr8.org
Adrianne Haslet-Davis, the ballroom dancer who was injured that day, is running the entire marathon course today and has raised nearly $17,000 (so far!) in support of Limbs for Life Foundation. www.limbsforlife.org
Many other courageous initiatives are happening today at the marathon, some public, some deeply personal. Our best wishes to the runners, volunteers, spectators, and supporters of these and other causes. Have a spectacular Patriots’ Day.
Rice, Chelsea. “One Fund Boston Distributes Final Funds to Bombing Survivors.” Boston.com. Boston Globe Media Partners, 2 Sept. 2014. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.