Many Bostonians shared a common experience last week as long-lost friends called, texted, and e-mailed to make sure they were safe after the Marathon bombings. The city as a whole got a similarly unexpected and touching message from one of its former stars: Mo Vaughn, the Sox slugger from the ’90s, who took out an ad in this newspaper to honor Boston’s heroes and offer his support.
“As a former Major League Baseball player, I spent 8 years playing in the greatest sports town in the country,” Vaughn’s ad began, and ended with the words “Boston will march on.”
Many other notes of encouragement arrived from unexpected quarters, and in unexpected ways. A brewer in Maine organized a convoy of free beer to truck to the city. Participants in the upcoming marathon in Oklahoma City, itself site of a devastating domestic terrorist attack, are planning to wear red socks for the race. A Brooklyn runners’ group launched a “virtual 5K” to raise money for Boston. “It’s as though somebody came into our church,” Steve Lastoe, of the group NYCRUNS, told the New York Daily News. “The Boston Marathon is the Holy Grail.”
Just as the torrent of calls and e-mails last week were poignant personal reminders for many residents, the backing given to Boston at a difficult time won’t be forgotten.