By Mayor Martin J. Walsh
For more than 120 years, the Boston Marathon has represented our city at its finest. Every year, thousands of runners lace up their shoes in Hopkinton and begin the long trek toward Boylston Street where people have gathered from across the city to cheer on friends, family, and complete strangers. On Marathon Monday, we come together in a special way as one city to support and celebrate one another.
Five years ago, our Marathon took on a new meaning. That year, President Obama came here to help our city heal, saying, “Even when our heart aches, we summon the strength that maybe we didn’t even know we had...We carry on. We finish the race.” The following year, Vice President Joe Biden reminded us that “we own the finish line.” I saw our city come together to care for the wounded, mourn those we lost, and honor the heroes.
Since then, the Boston Marathon has become a movement. It has come to represent the strength of the human spirit in a new and profound way. It’s a testament to the resilience of our city. Two years later, we marked the beginning of a new Boston tradition: One Boston Day.
Each year, the day serves as an opportunity to celebrate the resiliency, generosity, and strength demonstrated by the people of Boston and those around the world in response to the tragedy of April 15, 2013. In years past, we have celebrated this day by giving back to our communities and showing the kindness that was on display five years ago. I’m proud that this day is now a permanent fixture in our city and that we will continue this tradition in the years going forward.
Sunday, April 15, 2018, will mark the fourth annual One Boston Day, and this year I encourage all Bostonians to participate. I encourage you to visit onebostonday.org to see the “acts of kindness” individuals and organizations are planning. There are many ways - big and small - for you to get involved. Help clean up a local park. Help an elderly neighbor with housework, or mentor a struggling student. Participate in one of the many donation drives and walks planned. Give blood at Mass General Hospital or Thank a Veteran with Boston’s Veteran Services Office. However you choose to get involved, it will be a meaningful and memorable experience for everyone involved.
Last year, we reached more than 43,000 “acts of kindness” across the city. Bostonians shared their projects on social media and the hashtag #OneBostonDay was trending nationwide. As we get closer to this year’s day, we’ll be highlighting efforts under way for this year. I hope that the stories of other’s actions inspire you to get involved this year - and for all future One Boston Days.