Last week the Boston Red Sox proved the city is indeed Boston Strong by winning the 2013 World Series at home. It had been 95 years since the Sox won a title at Fenway, but it couldn’t have come at a better time.
The reverberations of the bombings at the Boston Marathon finish line have been felt throughout the city since April. The explosions killed three people and wounded more than 260 others. The pain was felt all around the United States, and for Boston it was devastating.
Six months later, the city is celebrating as it rises again to show its spirit and strength.
“Boston Strong” More Than Just A Slogan
Since April, the Red Sox have honored the victims of the bombings with moments of silence, first pitch ceremonies and meet-and-greets behind the batting cages at Fenway. Players took it upon themselves to coordinate hospital visits to give strength and show their support to the survivors and families impacted by this tragic event.
Together with the MLB, Players Association and their affiliates, the Red Sox and the team’s foundation donated $646,500 to The One Fund Boston, the charity established in support of the bombing victims and their families. Since April, The One Fund has raised over $60 million.
The Strength of Sports In A City
On the night of their victory, “Boston Strong” chants could be heard throughout Fenway Park as the Red Sox clinched their first home World Series win since 1918. The Red Sox defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 4 games to 2 at home in front of nearly 40,000 fans last Wednesday.
It’s in a moment like this one that the power of sport is most evident – wielding the power to catalyze the energy of an entire city, lifting the spirits of people who experienced great fear and tragedy not too long ago.
This was true back in 2006 when the Saints triumphantly returned to the Superdome following Hurricane Katrina. 72,000 fans found relief in the Mardi Gras-like celebration that brought solidarity among fans as they represented their city and cheered on their team vs. the Atlanta Falcons that Monday night.
Even more evident was in 2001 when the New York Yankees became America’s team in their World Series run after the 9/11 attacks. Every ball park honored the men and women, police and firefighters, victims and survivors of that fateful day. President George W. Bush throwing a perfect strike for his opening pitch in game 3 of that World Series really brought home the patriotic solidarity felt across the country, no matter which team’s jersey you wore.
Undoubtedly the unity, strength and joy was tangible at Fenway last week as the Red Sox brought home the win and proved once again the power of sport to uplift and revitalize their city.