Fighting for Florida

The Boston Marathon

In the past year, millions of Americans have competed in endurance events of varying distances and disciplines. I have always admired those who compete in endurance events. Today, as 36,000 runners take off from the starting line at the Boston Marathon, all Americans unite to support them as they remind us of our strength, courage and resilience as a people.

The terrorist attack on last year’s Boston Marathon shocked our nation and the world. Three spectators lost their lives and 264 spectators and runners were injured. The hours and days following the attacks were filled with heroic actions by first responders who risked their lives to help victims of the blasts and law enforcement officials who led the search for those responsible and began the process of bringing the surviving terrorist to justice. One campus police officer at MIT, Sean Collier, was killed by the bombers as they tried to flee justice. The first responders’ bravery and courage in the face of immediate danger and uncertainty inspired us all.

The inspiration from Boston continues today. For the families of those who lost loved ones and for the survivors who have suffered life changing injuries, this past year has been filled with unimaginable pain and difficulty, and yet, in true American form, it has also been filled with stories of survivors overcoming adversity. The strength of the survivors and the victims’ families has reminded us of our resilience as nation and inspired us as a people to stand together.

Today, the city of Boston and endurance athletes from across America, including over 900 Floridians, are uniting to show that last year’s attack will not deter them. This year, the Boston Marathon’s organizers wisely increased the number of registrations, not only to meet the demand of people who wanted to race this year and prove that Americans will not be deterred. But a special exception was also made to this year’s number of runners to accommodate a large group of special runners: those who were prevented from finishing last year, first responders, elite and legacy runners, and families of victims. This Boston Marathon will be unlike any other in its rich history.

To all those running today, thank you for being an example of American resolve. As you cross the finish line today, know that you inspire us all to be Boston Strong.

Best of luck to all the runners. May God bless them and all those affected by last year’s tragedy.