It took almost two years to get here (and still Boston Strong)

After weeks of hearing witness testimony, seeing horrific photos and physical evidence, and visiting the boat where he holed up during the latter portion of the manhunt in Watertown, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s jury has found him guilty on all 30 counts related to the Boston Marathon Bombing of 2013.

It’s been almost two years.

I still remember the day vividly, how I was in a conference room at work with a co-worker when frantic texts started pouring into my phone, a friend checking on me and asking if I was at the Boston Marathon. I had no idea why the concern until she told me there had been explosions. My blood ran cold.

My co-worker and I immediately stopped working and started pounding away at our laptops, trying to get any kind of news we could find that would tell us what had happened. I was panic-checking Twitter constantly, because I had friends working and hanging out at or near the finish line and I was terrified they would number among the dead and injured.

In the days that followed, the world became very strange. Boston became the Hub of the Universe for others, with reporters and federal agents flooding the city and surrounding suburbs. Work was stopped for many on the fateful day the Tsarnaevs went on the run in earnest, as Cambridge and Watertown were on lockdown. No one was to go anywhere. DH and I worked from home, checking the news websites, checking Twitter, hoping for news.

And then it happened: one brother dead, one captured. The stories that emerged of their attempt to escape are nearly as horrifying as the bombing that started all this madness: one brother running over the other with a car as he desperately tried to get away from law enforcement, and an MIT Police Officer, Sean Collier, shot dead.

It makes me sick thinking of it still.

The Boston Marathon is a symbol of hope. It’s the hope that you can be and do more than the average human should. It’s the hope that we can persevere in the face of pain, frustration, hills, and our own limitations as people.

We can’t and won’t let anyone tarnish our hope with their evil. The Boston Marathon will continue, and the route from Hopkinton to Boston will remain as storied and hallowed as it ever was.

And as for Tsarnaev, the guilty verdict was necessary and proper. He admitted to the bombing, and his lawyers were positioning their messages only so they could help him avoid the death penalty. He can be put to death or allowed to rot in the deepest, darkest hole in our Federal penitentiary system–either will suit him just fine. Nothing will bring back the four lives lost, the hundreds of limbs ripped from bodies, the peace of mind in the souls of those terrorized that fateful day.

He can now become a footnote in the annals of history.

The Boston Marathon will run on, and all those amazing runners and wheelchair racers will continue to be the symbols of hope they’ve been for decades. We will always be Boston Strong. Period.

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