In the aftermath of the horrific and cowardly acts at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday, millions of Americans were left in complete and utter devastation. How could this happen, at such a tradition-rich and joyous occasion? Why did this happen, in such an iconic town, known for its resolve? Who could have done this, scarring a day of celebration that so many held near and dear to their heart?
One thing remained clear amidst the billowing smoke and shards of broken glass; we will stand our ground, together, and overcome.
Watching first responders immediately run toward the explosion, seeing police officers spring into action at the sound of danger and hearing accounts of marathon runners jogging right past the finish line to the hospital to give blood are all pristine examples of the fight of this country.
So what role do sports play in this recovery? A much larger role than you might think.
Sports are an intrinsic part of this nation, built into the fabric of our everyday society. There are few other aspects of our culture that can effectively blur class lines, biases and stark differences of opinion.
During times of tragedy, we need something to come together around, an experience through which we, as a nation, can bond as one and rally for those that are hurting.
Look no further than the hockey rink or the hardwood, as diehard fans and major sports franchises in the Northeast and all across the country have recently decided to ignore what the words say on the front of the jersey and honor the flag that adorns it.
In the hours that passed after the explosions, the Boston Bruins chose to postpone their game Monday with the Ottawa Senators, and the Boston Celtics canceled their matchup the following night against the Indiana Pacers.