On Sunday morning I ran in the Run to Remember Half Marathon in Boston.
There was a lot to remember this year.
On Memorial Day weekend of course we remember the men and women who have died serving in the United States Armed Services.
But Boston's Run To Remember is organized by the Boston Police Department and Boston Police Runner's Club and is specifically meant to honor Massachusetts law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.
And coming only six weeks after the horrific bombings at the Boston Marathon which killed 3 people and injured 264, this year was very special and very different.
That act of terrorism and the violent events that followed in the next few days reminded us that, in the war with terrorists, the men and women in the armed forces and those in our police forces are all on the front line and are all putting their lives at risk to protect us in that war.
And we can not forget that, a few days after the bombing, the two brothers who had planted the bombs did murder a Massachusetts law enforcement officer, 27 year old Sean Collier, an MIT police officer. Apparently Officer Collier was planning to run in the Run to Remember this year.
So we remembered Sean Collier. Many runners wore his name and number on the backs of their shirts as they ran.
And we remembered the victims of the marathon bombings, especially the three who were killed, Krystle Campbell, Lü Lingzi, and Martin Richard, only 8 years old.
And we ran in honor of other fallen officers, and with supreme gratitude to the Massachusetts law enforcement officers who tracked down the bombers so effectively and who continue to protect us.
The route started on the South Boston Waterfront, wound through downtown Boston, and then over the Longfellow Bridge and along Memorial Drive in Cambridge, past MIT only a short distance from where Sean Collier was killed. Outside MIT there were dozens of police vehicles from towns all over the state lined up with police officers standing in front of them giving high fives to the runners. There were police officers at every junction and on bridges over the course. They cheered us on. We shouted out our thanks for their service to them.
But most of us were not only running to remember.
Or only to give thanks.
Important as both of those are.
We were running in a spirit of defiance.
How dare these terrorists attack something so harmless and innocent as a running race!
We were running to show that we are not afraid of the terrorists.
We were running to take back the streets.
It was a day I will never forget.
A half to remember.