Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Boston's True Heroes

There was a moment at this Saturday's World Series parade when the crowd spontaneously began to cheer, more than half an hour before the first duckboat appeared.

At first I thought it was simply an outburst of excitement. After all, there were people who had been waiting for more than five hours by 10am, so the anticipation was palpable.

But then I caught a glimpse of this guy, through the crowd:
©Kayla Chadwick 2013
You could argue that a crowd as amped up as these Red Sox fans would cheer for anything, but I disagree. The crowd was going wild for Boston's finest, their men and women in blue.

Boston has always had a love-hate relationship with its police force. We complain about them to our fellow Bostonians, but will unleash our accented wrath on any interloper who dares to badmouth the BPD.

This past Patriot's Day, we witnessed the incredible bravery and selflessness of the Boston Police and Fire Departments. After the terrible events of that April 15th, three of Boston's finest were immortalized on one of the most emotionally charged Sports Illustrated covers in my memory.

Those same three officers, Javier Pagan, Rachel McGuire, and Kevin McGill, are featured on this week's cover, with Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz.

Boston is no stranger to hyperbole when describing its athletes: we call them bosses, legends, heroes. But that fateful day this April, we were jarringly reminded of who the real heroes are.

Sure, the Red Sox inspired and united the city in one of its darkest hours - but the true heroes of the Boston Marathon Bombing (police officers, firefighters, runners, and bystanders) inspired the Red Sox. 

The Red Sox put a grieving city on their backs, and went on an absolute rampage through Major League Baseball - refusing to let up until the World Series trophy was in Boston where it belonged.

It seemed fitting that Red Sox fans cheered their police officers even before their favorite team. Without the Boston Police Department, sporting events in Beantown would feel a lot less secure.

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