Tuesday, July 29, 2014
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The Inner Edge: Unity In Tragedy

Less than an hour after the bombs went off at the Boston Marathon Monday, everyone in the world knew what transpired in Copley Square at 2:50 p.m. on one of Boston’s most beloved holidays — Patriots day.

The city erupted into a state of panic. Streets filling up with alarmed questions, nerves and tears.

I can’t even remember the first time the sirens stopped sounding that day.

It’s terrifying how one of the most memorable days I can remember having since arriving in Boston in the fall, went south in just a few seconds.

The thought that whoever set those bombs off was walking among us for the early hours of the marathon is nauseating.

It’s things like this that make you question peoples’ humanity.

But then again, there are too many great people in the world that come together in times of disaster and despair — people who spark remarkable responses.

Cross-conference opponents are no exception.

The Boston University softball team was scheduled to play at 4 p.m. at Bryant College Tuesday, despite the devastation that occurred in Boston one day before. The morning of our game, senior outfielder Jayme Mask asked our head coach, Kathryn Gleason, to contact Lisa Wallace, Bryant’s head coach, and coordinate a moment of silence to honor all those affected by the bombing.

They couldn’t have been more on board.

On top of that, junior catcher Amy Ekart threw out the idea of wearing blue and yellow Boston Marathon-inspired ribbons during the game, Bryant softball included.

As we loaded onto our Peter Pan bus, Coach Gleason called us all to the back to check how we were holding up emotionally.

“We don’t have to play today, you know,” Gleason said.

We all sat there in silence and stared at her, blue and yellow ribbons already pinned in our hair.

The only thing we wanted to do was play for our city.

When we arrived at the softball field, I walked by some Bryant lacrosse players who briefly glanced at my practice shirt and looked up.

Pure eye contact and a look.

That’s all I got.

No words were exchanged, but the look of total empathy said it all.

After warm ups, we were standing just to the side of first base in our “BUnit” huddle waiting for the announcer to begin.

One by one, players from both teams were announced alternatively, and jogged over to home plate as we lined up side by side, shooting up the middle of the infield, across the pitcher’s mound to where the dirt and grass met, exchanging high fives the whole way down.

Once everyone was lined up, Bryant’s Athletic Director, Bill Smith, called for a moment of silence for our city, and all of the sudden the BU and Bryant softball teams linked hands.

Just like that, we were united with our opponents.

If that isn’t the definition of class and humanity, I don’t know what is.

When the moment of silence concluded, I opened my eyes and raised my head for the national anthem when the sight in front of me brought me to tears.

The American flag, cast at half-mast, made my stomach churn as I thought back to the moment I heard about the explosion.

One mile.

That’s all it was.

A mile away from where me and the rest of the softball team was watching the race Monday.

My eyes began to water along with those around me, BU and Bryant softball players alike, as we all stood there, hand in hand, with blue and yellow ribbons hanging from our ponytails.

Nothing that happened in the game following that introduction would be more remarkable than the amount of sportsmanship, empathy and humanity that was exerted on that field before game time.

No win could compare to that.

Thank you, Bryant softball.

6 Responses for “The Inner Edge: Unity In Tragedy”

  1. Douglas says:

    It’s Bryant University not college

  2. Diane says:

    Amazing and heartwarming!

  3. Nora says:

    Your focus shouldn’t be on the university/college. Rather, it should be on the moral of the story.

  4. Dona June Ekart says:

    Beautiful tribute.. Amy’s grandma from Nebraska.

  5. Kathleen Schreiber "Mama Schreibs" says:

    Beautiful!!!! Thank You for sharing your story!! I sat with Joan Hynes (Lauren’s Mom) yesterday at my daughter’s softball game and heard a little about your game. I am so glad you took the time to write this and to share it!! Give a hug to Lauren for me!!! Take care of each other!!

  6. Mary Eringis says:

    You are such a warm and caring person. I was there to watch my daughter and the rest of the Bryant softball team. I felt so proud to be a part of that honor. Thank you for sharing this experience!

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