Boston's Defiant Spirit on Display at Fenway Park: 'We Are Boston Strong'

PHOTO: The Red Sox Nation turned out in force Saturday, April 20, 2013 in a defiant display of spirit after a week of terror, as shown in this screengrab from NESN (New England Sports Network).
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Red Sox Nation turned out in force today in a defiant display of spirit after a week of terror, while others vowed that the bombs and dragnets of recent days would not deter them from next year's celebration of the Boston Marathon.

A packed Fenway Park cheered survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing that killed three and wounded 170. They cheered the police who captured suspect Dzhokhak Tsarnaev and killed his brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev in a wild shootout. And they cheered for themselves.

"We are one. We are strong. We are Boston. We are Boston strong," the announcer said to an eruption of cheers.

They watched an emotional montage of photos from the past week on the centerfield screen and then, inspired by fans at Boston Bruins game earlier this week, the entire crowd sang the national anthem.

Today's game was the first to be played since the manhunt for the alleged bombers came to an end. Friday's game was postponed after the governor put the entire city on lockdown, asking people to stay in their homes, businesses to stay closed and shut down public transportation and taxi service.

In Watertown, where nearly a week of bombs and bullets came to a sudden end Friday night, a similar spirit prevailed.

"We're resilient. We're strong, We're in it together," said Warren Tolman, who lives just blocks from where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured.

"I didn't go to the marathon this year, but I'm going next year and I can't wait. It's a great community. We'll be back. We'll be fine," Tolman said.

The marathon is held every year on Patriot's Day, a holiday that is unique to Boston.

"We're not going to be deterred," said Nicholas Arcolano, who watched Friday night's arrest drama along with his wife Joy from their window.

"It's a rite of spring," Joy Arcolano agreed. "It's something we look forward to every year and I'm not going to let anybody ruin an entire season for me. Getting out of the house on Patriot's Day is just glorious."

"Patriot's Day is a special holiday only we get," Nicholas Arcolano said. "I want it to be like it was."

Both Tolman and the Arcolanos endured a terrifying 24-hour period that began with a firefight between police and the suspects in the residential neighborhood of Watertown Thursday night into early Friday morning. Tamerlan Tsarnaev died in the gun battle and the second suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, slipped away into the neighborhood.

Police ordered everyone to stay indoors as heavily armed SWAT teams backed up by military-style vehicles went door to door through the terrified city searching for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

"There's 10 guys in my front yard. Two of them start to come up the front," Tolman said. "They came in. They said we'd like to conduct a search. ... It's like the movies, except it's in your basement."

The police and the governor asked everyone in Watertown, Boston and other area towns to stay indoors and to only answer the door to uniformed law enforcement. That "shelter inside" warning was lifted Friday night and many Bostonians quickly ventured outside, including Tolman.

"I was cooped up in my house for the last almost 24 hours just wondering if the guy was in my backyard, if he was in my garage or in my neighborhood," Tolman said. But once the warning was lifted he was eager to get out, only to face more gunfire. This time it was because they had finally cornered Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

"I heard the gunshots and it wasn't just a couple. It was 45, 50 rounds," Tolman said.

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