A quiet week in Boston


Ed. note: Katrina Langer is a member of the MorristownGreen.com family who helps with editing tasks from her home in Boston. She shared her observations after last week’s bombings; here are her thoughts on the aftermath.

By Katrina Langer

Those unfamiliar with Boston may not understand what it means for the city to be silent for five days.

Boylston Street Memorial at Berkeley Street
A memorial emerged at the intersection of Boylston and Berkeley Streets soon after the explosions. Photo by Katrina Langer.

Bostonians are a people known for their inability to keep their mouths shut; this is a city that is arguably more famous for its fanatic spectatorship of sports than for the athletes who play them.

Don’t forget that this is a region founded by people who protested taxation by throwing tea into the ocean. This is the place that had to arrest people for vandalism after the Red Sox won the World Series. Both times.

And make no mistake: We are proud of this. We are a city that works really hard and also loves to party.

However, silence settled over us and in our hearts this week. Most notably at a memorial constructed one block up from the explosions. The only sounds there are the clicks of cameras and the murmur of the media. Notes of support have collected around a pile of flowers, while Tibetan Peace Flags keep onlookers at a distance.

Boylston Street
An empty Boylston Street, looking towards the Copley Square crime scene. Photo by Katrina Langer.

Moreover, there really aren’t words to accurately describe the worry and apprehension that overcame the people of Boston this week. But a silent Boylston Street speaks volumes: Empty except for the belongings people left behind on Monday. Groceries, coffee, and half-eaten lunches.

By 10 pm on Thursday, this silence was broken by gunshots at MIT, followed by an evening that would turn our solemn silence into a nearly 24-hour mandate of isolation.

Newbury Street at Dartmouth Street
Boston Police and Military Personnel lined the streets of Boston this week. Photo by Katrina Langer.

Needless to say, when the BPD tweeted, “We got him,” on Friday night, the city erupted in cheers and the streets filled with relieved residents ready for a celebration.

Many times this week, we were reminded of the words of Mr. Rogers, who encouraged us to “Always look for the helpers” in times of crisis.

The helpers this week have included the BPD, the military, the FBI, the Red Cross, (among so, so many others) and the accidental heroes who ran toward the explosions to get people to safety and save their lives. Not to mention the many people who have sent prayers and well-wishes from near and far.

The city has already begun to heal (and sound levels are climbing back to normal), and it is in no small part thanks to the “helpers.”

As we move forward in the coming months, it is my personal hope that we don’t lose sight of this:

Around the world, there are far more among us that are full of light than full of darkness.

Boston Public Garden memorial
Words of love and support surround flower beds in the Boston Public Garden. Photo by Katrina Langer.






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  1. Thank you again, Katrina.
    This morning I acted on your earlier advice to visit Boston again. I am taking my 10-year-old soon to a Sox game art Fenway in June.