April 14, 2014

Message from Sister Janet Eisner, SND, on the Anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombings

Sister Janet Eisner, SND

Tomorrow, April 15th, marks the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings. Throughout the day, the College will host events to honor the victims and survivors of the attack and to celebrate the spirit of strength and unity that has characterized our city, and inspired the world, over the past year.

Emmanuel College's Boston Strong Day will include a Memorial Mass at 11:45 a.m. in the Chapel and a Commemorative Vigil in the Quad from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. In the afternoon, at 2:49 p.m.—the precise time of the bombing—Emmanuel will join Boston's churches in a Ringing of the Bells in tribute to those lost a year ago, followed by a moment of silence.

I imagine each of us remembers the moment we heard of the tragedy and saw the first images from the Finish Line. One of the world's premier athletic events, and an annual day of fanfare, excitement and pride for our city, had taken a terrible turn.

For the Emmanuel community, the scenes of suffering and confusion struck close to home. This was happening just two miles away, in our city, where we live, study, intern and serve. Going to the Marathon is part of the Emmanuel tradition; student athletes were taking part in the Marathon as volunteers at the Finish Line, while many others fanned out along with Marathon route to cheer on the runners. In the hours that followed, even as we confirmed that all members of our community were safe, we were saddened to learn of hundreds of bombing victims, many of whom were transported to hospitals in our Longwood neighborhood.

That tragic day brought us together in classrooms, residence halls, in the dining hall, and most especially in our Chapel, as we gathered to talk, to pray, to share our fears and our deep concern for the victims of the attack and their families. We came together as a community, as we have in the past, and will do again tomorrow, remembering the bonds that make our College community, and our city, so strong.

In this Holy Week, as we commemorate Jesus' death and resurrection, let us remember all affected by last year's tragedy.

Sister Janet Eisner, SND
President