Though raised in Adams, there was a time in the not-too-distant past when I walked a piece of Boston's Boylston Street daily on my way to work in the Clarendon Building, just outside of Copley Square.
I crossed each day, filled with all the hope and determination of a man in his 20s, the same sidewalk the world saw streaked in the blood of innocent bystanders Monday after twin bombs detonated near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
It has been years since I left that remarkable city to return to the Berkshires, but seeing the aftermath taking shape on news broadcasts Monday, I wished my feet were once more on that pavement - so that I could be of some service in those chaotic moments that followed the day's act of epic cowardice. And I know I'm not alone.
Monday's heart-wrenching events strike too close to home for many residents of Northern Berkshire. Many of us either spent time there, have visited often or know people who live in The Hub. After I found out everyone I knew in the city was safe, it began to strike me just what this meant for the identity of that fine city and for the world's interaction with it.
Never again will the Boston Marathon be mentioned without this senseless act coming hot on the heels of the thought. Boylston Street and Copley Square will forever be haunted by visions of a panicked evacuation and crimson stains on sidewalks.
But there is a greater alteration that has been made as well: The pictures of people running toward the blasts so that they might aid their fellow man are now indelibly etched in the national consciousness. The generosity, support and sympathy of people not only in Boston, but here in North County and around the world will be synonymous with the day Boston was attacked.
I count among my friends people with the Boston Red Sox "B" tattooed on them. Tattooed. That doesn't fade, nor should the resolve that good must prevail in the face of Monday's ugliness.
The Boston College fight song, "For Boston," made broadly known in recent years by Boston's Dropkick Murphys, says resoundingly, "For Boston, for Boston, thy glory is our own."
So now also must be its sadness, but also its promise to persevere.
- Michael J. Foster, Editor-in-Chief