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22 April 2013

Giving purpose to my idle hands

All week long, I have felt frustrated and detached and disconnected. The Boston Marathon bombings and the subsequent investigation happening in New England have made me feel far from home and completely helpless. My heart has ached for a city and a people that I love, and I've found no way to help other than sending my prayers to them every day. I know that, even if I had been in Boston all week, my efforts would be insignificant, but at least I would be able to make an effort, do something to make even the smallest difference. Instead, I've been stuck in North Carolina, finding myself glued to the news at every possible moment. And this coming from a girl who is repelled by the news is saying something.

So when my good friend Sheila suggested participating in a memorial 5k in Raleigh on Sunday, I was eager to join her. While it wouldn't really do anything to help, it gave me something to do. I bought the memorial t-shirt of which 100% of the proceeds are going to One Fund Boston, and I walked/jogged the 5k with about 3000 other people who cared and wanted to show their support. It was a beautiful afternoon with puffy clouds and blue sky and a shining sun, and seeing all those people gather together to stand united was certainly moving. And it made me feel like I was doing the right thing. All these people felt helpless as well, and coming together was just a small gesture in showing the people of Boston that we stand together, regardless of geographic location.

One of the most impressive things about this walk was that it started off as a Facebook event with no expected police presence and quickly evolved into a 3000+ mass of people requiring roads to be shut down and police and medical personnel to be on the run route. They had a bagpiper playing "Amazing Grace" and an amazing vocalist who belted out the national anthem. The opening ceremony was moving and inspiring, and it certainly made me feel like I was a part of something bigger with a wonderful purpose.

The enormous flag flying over the start/finish line. 



Over 3000 people came together. Looking ahead to see a wave of people was indeed very cool.

A local company brought out their crane to fly a flag over the run route. 



Sheila and I, post-jog/walk
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