I Dreamt Of the Boston Marathon Since I Was 7, But Today It Became a Nightmare

I dreamt of the Boston marathon since I was seven-years-old. The world's most prestigious marathon is the most sought after race by avid runners. New York may have tougher qualifying standards, but the 26.2 miles that comprises the Boston marathon is incomparable.

Thousands and thousands of strangers come to cheer on thousands and thousands of runners who have logged thousands of miles for one day. A few years ago, I achieved my dream. The infamous Heartbreak Hill was lined with so many people cheering, I didn't even notice the steep grade. 

Today, explosions marred the event. At least two people are dead. Many are injured. And a day of achievement, of celebration, and of collective community has turned into an atmosphere of terror. 

Boston is my adopted city. Today was a day of hope and confusion and text messages and voice mails and harried updates and love and anger. It was a day of chaos and community. We will pray and rally and grieve. We will re-build and love. We will try to fathom how someone could focus their life on the destruction of the lives of others. We will be thankful that the number of people that base their lives on love vastly outnumber those that cause terror. We are Boston.

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Jillian McLaughlin

As a current student at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, I study public policy, take advantage of student discounts, and spend way too much time playing Settlers of Catan.

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