Day of unity, strength in 'our [expletive] city'

Day of unity, strength in 'our [expletive] city'
April 20, 2013, 8:15 pm
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Boston’s sports teams delivered the message loud and clear on Saturday.

It was delivered when a team of Boston Bruins players took the TD Garden ice wearing not helmets, but hats representing the Massachusetts State Police, Boston Police Department, and Watertown Police Department.

It was delivered during the Red Sox’s pregame tribute filled with Marathon responders and police officers, and slammed out of the park during David Ortiz’s rather colorful speech – “This is our [expletive] city!”

It was delivered by Paul Pierce, who promised before the first game of the NBA’s postseason on national television and in front of a sold-out Madison Square Garden that we “will rise and run again”, and it was written on the right sneaker of Jeff Green . . .

#BostonStrong.

That’s been this city’s slogan since two bombs exploded in an act of terror at the Boston Marathon finish line last Monday. As its teams suited up to play all within hours of each other, Bostonians gathered together to celebrate much more than just a sporting event.

It was to remember those affected by the tragedy, honor those whose bravery had been put to the ultimate test, and show that we can – and did – overcome, and we did it as one.

The Red Sox sported home jerseys that read “Boston” instead of the usual “Red Sox”. The jerseys will be signed and auctioned off with all proceeds going to The One Fund Boston, helping the people most affected by the tragic events.

The Celtics showed off their new Adidas warm-ups that read, “Boston Stands as One”. Fittingly, they’re on sale for $26.20, with 100% of the proceeds going to The One Fund. They also wore a patch – and will wear one throughout the playoffs – that read the same thing.

While three wins would have been nice on Saturday – only the Red Sox came out victors – the day wasn’t about winning or losing, but simply playing.

The Bruins postponed two games this week, one on Monday and one on Friday, the Celtics cancelled Tuesday’s game against the Pacers, and the Red Sox postponed their first game back since the attack on Thursday, when Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the terrorists, was still at large and considered very dangerous in Massachusetts.

He’s now caught. His fellow terrorist brother – dead. And while the news started parties that spilled into the streets last night around Massachusetts, they continued strong – Boston Strong – today.

Bostonians could finally put faces to some of those brave voices they heard over their police scanners as they were introduced to the crowds.

The Boston Police Honor Guard presented our nation’s colors at the Bruins game on Saturday as fans once again sang our national anthem a capella. Just down Storrow Drive, Boston Marathon volunteers stood in front of the Green Monster as it was draped with the American flag, before countless members of Massachusetts’ police force were introduced, led by Boston Commissioner of Police Ed Davis. And in New York City, the Boston Fire Department Color Guard was joined by the FDNY Ceremonial Unit to present the colors.

Another face fans could put a voice to was Neil Diamond, who made an impromptu appearance at Fenway Park for a live version of his always-kept-alive-here song, “Sweet Caroline”, during the 8th inning.

But the singing started long before Diamond arrived. And it will continue long after he heads back to Los Angeles.

After the win, The Standells’ “Dirty Water” blared over the loudspeakers, as it does after every win. But fans stuck around longer than usual this time, and belted out the lyrics:

Well I love that dirty water // Oh, Boston you’re my home

That’s Boston. Louder and prouder than ever.