Five years ago, Boston Red Sox legend David Ortiz spoke to a crowd at Fenway Park, uniting the fans against the Kansas City Royals in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing.
Five words were all it took to make Boston, and by extension, America, strong.
Five years ago, an act of terrorism caused by brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tasrnaev during the Boston Marathon on April 15 killed three people and injured 280 as they set off bombs at the end of the marathon. Following the bombing, the brothers went on the run. Tamerlan was killed during a police shootout on April 18. Dzhohkar fled, but was discovered on April 19 after a massive manhunt found him hiding in a boat. He was arrested, and the ordeal was over for the citizens of Boston, who had spent days in fear as the city was locked down.
Now, the only thing the people of Boston could do was remain strong in the wake of the crisis.
Boston loves their sports, from the Red Sox to marathons. When the Red Sox were finally able to return home to Fenway Park, the city came together.
A day after Dzhohkar’s arrest, the Red Sox were scheduled to square off against the Royals. A pre-game ceremony commemorated the people who were killed and injured, and to recognize those involved in capturing the brothers.
The man, the myth, the only David Ortiz then addressed the people of Boston directly. He thanked officials and authorities while reminding Boston citizens to stay strong in the face of terror.
The words still resonate to this day, not just for Boston, but also for the whole country. Just a few words can dictate the attitude and life of a population. The city of Boston is filled with tough, strong individuals who did not want to see their way of life change because of one attack. Ortiz knew this about the people of Boston, since he was the longest tenured member of the team at the time.
“This is the type of thing that gets into your head, and all of a sudden, you don’t want to go into a restaurant or go into the hallway,” Ortiz said, according to CNN. “They want you to stay at your house, so the whole city stops functioning. I wanted to make sure that people moved on and showed all of these villains that that was not how we rolled.”
And with a few blunt sentences, an almost sold-out crowd came together. Nobody was afraid to be at Fenway Park that evening. The people from Boston were, and still are, strong, and they were made stronger by Ortiz’s words. The Red Sox would later win the World Series riding off the motivation from that day.
The Red Sox are strong. Boston is stronger.
Featured image taken from SI.com. Video taken from YouTube.com, courtesy of the Major League Baseball account.