For the past two years, I’ve worked as a Walk for Hunger volunteer at the Cambridge Boat House checkpoint. On Sunday, as I offered water and encouragement to children in strollers and stalwarts in their 70s, I felt pride in the diversity of those who were making this year’s event business as usual.
I also felt pride in my fellow volunteers. A Quincy high school sophomore was born in the United States to Chinese immigrants. A UMass PhD who researches cancer at Children’s Hospital came from China 10 years ago. The daughter of an African-American volunteer helped us last year; this year she’s finishing her first year at Yale. Other helpers included two young men from Turkey. I’m from Canada.
Noting the many “Boston Strong” T-shirts, the Quincy sophomore smiled in approval.
“It’s nice,” I agreed, “but look at us. This is what America looks like.”
“Yeah,” he said. “Whatever else, we’re all Americans.”
A group of us agreed to meet next year, same time, same place.
We never mentioned the Marathon. We didn’t need to.