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Springtime has finally arrived in Massachusetts and with it the annual running of the Boston Marathon – an event which brings together people from all over the Commonwealth and all over the world to celebrate the spirit of athleticism and the achievement of every runner who dons a bib and runs the race.

This year’s Marathon, of course, is different than any that has come before it. As we face the one-year anniversary of the horrific attacks on Boylston Street, we honor the ultimate sacrifice of the individuals who lost their lives that day, and remember the pain and suffering of the families who loved them.

It’s also a time to reflect on the extraordinary courage of both first responders and everyday bystanders who rushed to the aid of the hundreds of individuals who were injured by the blasts – and who have never ceased to provide support, resources and encouragement to these survivors as they continue with their recovery one year later.

Semper Fi FoundationLast week I was genuinely thrilled to attend the one-year anniversary reunion of a group of individuals who were injured by the blasts and their family members. The event was hosted by the Semper Fi Foundation, a remarkable organization of former United States Marines whose mission it is to assist Marines wounded in service to make successful and productive transitions to civilian life. These true-life Semper Fi heroes came to Boston in the wake of last year’s bombings and provided crucial assistance to each of these Marathon bombing survivors and their families – not only in the days and weeks that followed, but to this day.

The event was a powerful testament to the extraordinary spirit of resilience, commitment, and community which resides in all of us, and which was so richly displayed in the heroism, sacrifice and sense of duty that we saw that awful day one year ago.

As we look forward to this year’s race, let us rededicate ourselves to ensuring that spirit, and those qualities, continue to flourish in ourselves, our families and our communities.

Written By:


Commissioner of the Department of Public Health

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