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letters | Reeling from Marathon Terror

Holding out hope for an event where city is both host and participant

Unused thermal blankets for marathon participants were piled Tuesday near the scene of a twin bombing at the Boston Marathon.

Spencer Platt/ Getty images

Unused thermal blankets for marathon participants were piled Tuesday near the scene of a twin bombing at the Boston Marathon.

The Boston Marathon has always been a personal event for me. For nearly two decades, up until this year, my dad ran. It was the stuff of family tradition. I doubt we were unique in this respect.

One of the great things about the marathon is that the city is both host and participant. I can’t think of another sporting event where the crowds and geography are as much a part of the action as the competitors. Boston isn’t Boston without the screaming Wellesley women and the Newton hills.

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It’s chaos for spectators. Going near the finish line means placing your body at the whim of the crowd. It’s overwhelming, to be sure, but fun in an incredibly positive way.

Marathon Monday won’t be the same next year. Security will be tightened and precautions taken to keep something like this from happening again. If that’s what we need to do to keep more people from getting hurt, so be it.

However, I hope that the rituals and exuberance that have defined the day for me and countless others will prevail over the sorrow caused by a single crazed act. Boston is a resilient city; I have no doubt that it will come out strong.

Salomone Baquis

Washington

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