Originally posted April 18, 2013 on IndySportsLegends.com.
Boston is healing.
Yes, I know, with no ties to the area, I can’t say that with any legitimacy whatsoever. But it sure looked like it if you saw the pregame activities of the Bruins-Sabres hockey game last night.
Something unprecedented happened, and it didn’t take long to develop. Before the second stanza of the national anthem had even started, some 16,000 New Englanders were in full throat, urged on by singer Rene Rancourt, quickly drowning out his voice in a collective surge of emotion the likes of which you rarely see.
Look back at how American sporting events have framed large-scale world events over the past 15 years. There was almost a split prevailing mood immediately after 9/11, with a somber, borderline hesitance to resume the baseball season juxtaposed against an almost patriotic defiance for the football games that followed.
The mood after Osama bin Laden’s death? Pure, unadulterated exultation. An emotion perfectly captured and encapsullated at sporting events across the country.
Last night at TD Garden was different. It was, at once, equal and indistinguishable amounts of reverence, passion, patriotism, anger…and hope.
We as Americans simply don’t do this. We don’t burst into song when the Star-Spangled Banner is concerned — at least not like other nations do. For most, and in the vast majority of cases, the national anthem is a time for respectful silence.
Not this time.
It was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. It was one of the most appropriate things I have seen. And it is a classic example of why people who dismiss the curative effects of sports need to take a step back and observe how a team or individual can rally an entire city, a region, or even a nation.
No location should go through what Boston did Monday, but let’s not forget this happens elsewhere across the globe.
Regardless, justice will prevail. And in this case, Boston will heal.