I went to college near Boston. The Monday of the Boston Marathon, in Massachusetts, is a holiday called Patriots' Day. We called it Marathon Monday, and all classes were canceled for the day. There's a longstanding tradition of students turning out en masse to line the streets where the race course approaches campus, kiss runners, and scream their hearts out in encouragement. (I never did this myself. Unconsciously I avoided almost all of the college traditions, and I'm not sure if I regret that or not.)
I remember one year two of my fellow students ran in the marathon, and the outpouring of love and support from the whole campus was overwhelming. I remember reading about runners who run for loved ones, living or lost. I remember reading about a father running with his son, who has cerebral palsy, by pushing him in a wheelchair. They've run the marathon thirty times in total.
Yesterday as I watched the news unfurl everywhere, including Ravelry, one of the things that surprised and hurt me was the sentiment that kept cropping up again and again - the one that goes, "I've lost faith in humanity" or "Human beings are sick to be able to do this to each other" or anything remotely resembling "X wide-ethnic-or-political-group is behind this". This is the best answer I've found to that sentiment so far. (If you're like me and despise being on Facebook, you can view it even without being logged in.)
I'm not about to forget the events of yesterday anytime soon. But to my good memories I'm going to add even better memories: the pictures of brave men and women running towards the explosions to try to help people out, the local residents who opened their homes to runners who couldn't get to their hotels, the Red Cross's announcement that they have more than enough blood donated now, thank you, you can wait on donating until later in the week.
These are the things I choose to remember about Boston and its Marathon.
No one I know was injured or killed. No one I know was anywhere close to the scene. It would be infinitely harder for me to say these things if they had. I respect and grieve for everyone who suffered a loss. But it's possible - and important - to grieve without falling into cynical depression. We need to not lose sight of all the good things, past and present, in the shadow of the bad. If, years and years down the road, we think of Oklahoma City or Manhattan or Boston and can remember nothing except the bombs, then we have already lost.