In Face of Terror, Communities Unite in Compassion and Strength

4-22-13 Feature Story:

Marathon Monday's events brought a torrent of emotions. Initial terror gave way to grief then anger and ultimately, to resolve. Amid the confusion and tumult, one thing was clear: the city of Boston was united in its outrage, empathy and strength.

Marathon volunteers, first responders, civilians, elected officials and the city's world-renowned hospitals answered the horror with unmatched competence and compassion in their continuing care of the profoundly injured.

And it was our communities that proved once again, their unfailingly ability to come together to help one another feel a little less lost and powerless, and to provide solace, support and prayers to the victims and their families.

The night after the bombings, the streets of Dorchester were filled with families that spontaneously joined in a vigil for the Richard family. As nearly two thousand people converged on Garvey Park in support of Martin, Denise and Jane, other communities would do the same to honor Krystle Campbell, Lingzi Lu, Sean Collier, and the recovering wounded.

We will never forget the 17,000 voices that became one during the singing of the national anthem at the Boston Bruins game that very same night. Nor President Obama's declaration that the strength and resolve of Boston residents "is the greatest rebuke" to those who "committed this heinous act."

But the most powerful and defining moment of last week happened in the seconds following the first explosion on Boylston Street: people running toward danger -- and not for cover -- to see how they could help.

This is the image that will endure in our hearts and minds. An image that says the people of Boston and this great state will never be defeated or divided by hatred and violence.

I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to Massachusetts' 49 community health centers for their stewardship of the Commonwealth's beloved communities over the past few weeks and in the coming months as they continue to heal. Your help and guidance in the midst of such horror were a critical part of a response that has shown our residents and the rest of the country how the power of human goodness and neighborly love can prevail in the face of evil.

Please click here for important emergency resources intended to assist health centers and their patients over these next difficult weeks.

Jim Hunt


Mosiac Wall of Faces of the Future
Faces of the Future