Victims Embody 'Boston Strong' After Marathon Bombings

Grit, Resolve (and even humor) are helping city overcome tragedy.

April 15, 2014— -- The bombs tore into Boston, shattering not one but two of the city’s yearly traditions. Patriots’ Day. The Boston Marathon.

Three people died and more than 260 others were injured.

In the year since the April 15, 2013, tragedy, the city’s grit and resolve have shined through. Heather Abbott personifies that resolve – labeled “Boston Strong” – by overcoming the loss of her lower left leg. She learned to walk again, even run.

She has four prosthetics, including a waterproof one and one for high heels. Humor has helped her through, she says.

“I think if somebody told me this was going to happen to me, I would have been devastated,” Abbott says, reflecting on the tragedy.“I had no idea I had it in me.”

That “Boston Strong” spirit was articulated perhaps most colorfully by Red Sox slugger David Ortiz. During a ceremony before the team’s first home game after the tragedy, Ortiz addressed the fans.

“This jersey that we’re wearing today, it doesn’t say ‘Red Sox.’ It says, ‘Boston,’” Ortiz said.“This is our f****** city.”

Abbott and other victims – as well as first responders, doctors, nurses, political figures and sports heroes – showed up for a photo shoot at the marathon finish line the other day. The image graces today’s front page of The Boston Globe, a city enduring amid the pain.

For Abbott, the tragedy is defined by what happened afterward: the outpouring of support, the healing, a community coming together. That community will celebrate its next Patriots’ Day Monday, besides hosting a marathon.