I am a Bostonian.
I was born in Boston, my sister was born in Boston, my parents were born in Boston. They met in Boston, they married in Boston, and they lived in Boston for the first 10 years of their marriage (then they moved next door to Quincy).
My father’s father was a Boston policeman until the strike in 1919, and then he became a Boston postman.
My father and his brother were both members of the Boston Fire Department. My father was the firefighter shot during the 1967 Welfare Riot. My uncle was a district chief of the Department for many years.
My mother’s parents individually came down from the Maritime Provinces of Canada to Boston to look for work in the 1910’s, and found both work and each other, and then raised nine children (Alice, Nan, Tina, Lorraine, Kitty, TeeCee, Sonny, Frank, and Ned) in Boston.
I lived in an apartment in South Boston.
I lived an apartment in Dorchester.
I live in a townhouse in Roslindale.
When I lived in other countries, everybody was delighted that they could say they knew someone from Boston. Everyone loved that I was Boston: “Say that thing you say,” they’d say. And I would, and they would ask me to say it again. (It’s “Pahk yuh cah rin Haahvid Yaaaahd,” in case you are unaware of the thing that we say here.)
Here’s what I know about Boston:
- Benjamin Franklin was from Boston.
- The Declaration of Independence was based on our Suffolk Resolves.
- We never stopped believing that the Red Sox would win the World Series.
- When havoc was wrecked upon Boston, upon the people of Boston and the people in Boston, on Monday, we were going to 1) find those…people…no matter what it took, and 2) fix the people they hurt.
When the Marathon was attacked, everyone was a Bostonian. People born here, people schooled here, people from other countries trying to make a better lives for themselves here. People here for a weekend of fun and the culmination of months of training were Bostonians. Of course Bostonians ran to help.
We’ve seen a lot in Boston, from the American Revolution to busing to the Big Dig to Flight 11 to the end of the Curse of the Bambino. We’ve seen the discovery of anesthesia, the placing of the first telephone call, the first public secondary school (created in 1635 and still going strong). The first chocolate factory, the first school for the blind, the first public library. The first cook book published in America, the first Dunkin’ Donuts, the first liver transplant, the first in-utero operation, the first full-face transplant in the US.
We have been here a long time. And we will continue. We will continue to be the city and the people that others think so well of. We will continue to have the Marathon, we will continue to innovate, we will continue to enjoy our city and our lives.
We will remember those lost and those injured, and they will become part of the psyche of this city. They and their stories will become part of who we are.
We are Boston. We do not cower. We do not fall to the ground, wring our hands, and cry “Why us?” We look evil in the face, assess the destruction, and get to work.
Bostonians, and those who believe in us, stand proud of ourselves and those temporary Bostonians who ran to help.
Welcome to Boston.