Like many parts of Boston, Boylston Street has a personality of its own. The long street runs east from the Emerald Necklace to the Boston Common. Newbury Street shoppers wander over here for lunch. Skateboarders turn sidewalks and benches into an obstacle course. People soak up the rays on the grass in Copley Square. Cars and buses roll on the street above while the MBTA and Mass Pike rumble below. In winter, an Atlantic breeze chills every pedestrian to the bone. By summer, readers and exhausted citizens take shelter in the air-conditioned Boston Public Library. I spent my college years here. I remember Boylston before the start of other Marathons, when the finish line had just been applied with a coat of fresh paint. This is where we take the pulse of a grand old city.
I want to visit the street again now that the scene is safe and sound. I want to see Boylston with my own eyes, wondering if happy memories can meld with the tragedy that has befallen us. I will pray for the victims, and I will pray for tranquility. Peace was here long before the tragedy. It ran down this street for ages with athletes and citizens alike. This is where we can still find that wonderful pulse: a feeling of calm, a feeling of prosperity, and a feeling of hope for all.