A tragedy on Boston's biggest holiday

A tragedy on Boston's biggest holiday
April 15, 2013, 6:45 pm
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For Bostonians, there's no bigger holiday than Patriots Day.

Sure, St. Patrick's Day is big. "First Night," on New Year's Eve, brings in a crowd, too. But Patriots Day is Massachusetts', and more specifically, Boston's own day.

Like many holidays, the meaning of it often times gets lost. But a few steps down the Freedom Trail - a brick path that takes people all over the city through its historic landmarks - is all it takes to be reminded of how big a part Boston is to our nation's history.

In short, Patriots Day celebrates the battles of Lexington and Concord in 1775, two towns nearby to Boston. Those battles were the first in the American Revolutionary War, and in establishing our nation's independence from the United Kingdom.

So, how do Bostonians celebrate the holiday? A better question would be how do they not celebrate the holiday?

First of all, observances and reenactments of those battles occur every year in those two towns on Patriots Day.

First, you've got the Boston Marathon - the staple of all marathons in the world. People from all over travel to Boston to race 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Boston's Boylston Street, lined with fans cheering them on the entire route.

Meanwhile, the Red Sox take part in their annual Patriots Day Game, a game that starts at 11 a.m. at Fenway Park. The Sox have been scheduled to play at Fenway on Patriots Day since 1959. The downtown streets - the ones that aren't blocked off with runners, anyways - are packed, as well as the bars around town. And when the game gets out and fans leave Fenway, they empty out onto nearby Kenmore Square, where they can watch marathoners heading down the home stretch.

So whether you're celebrating along the sidewalks of Commonwealth Avenue, celebrating from the bleachers at Fenway Park, or celebrating with friends and family at a local pub - or heck, all three - there's no day in Boston quite like Patriots Day.

And this year, it was taken from us.