Editor’s note: Andy Robinson is a 20-year-old Hanover native now attending Northeastern University in Boston, majoring in journalism, and was in Boston at the time of the bombings and submitted this letter. He worked on the staff of The Student Sun from 2007 through 2010 and is majoring in journalism.
Boston Strong photo by Andy Robinson
Never have I seen the city of Boston so loud and so quiet at the same time.
When you’re a journalism major, you get the urge to jump on the scene. A reporter’s first obligation is to the truth, and the truth knows no limits. Fires. Murders. Bombings. But a friend of mine said to me on the day of the bombings, “You’re a human before you’re a journalist.” I like that. See, journalists can’t afford to be humans. They have to go out there and get the facts despite everything else. It’s a noble profession. But on Monday, I couldn’t go out to Copley Square. I couldn’t be a journalist.
I’ve never, in all my time in Boston, felt unsafe. Boston is one of the most accommodating, friendliest, optimistic places. It’s a big town. A small metropolis. Seeing the news of what was happening at the finish line of the Boston Marathon was, putting it lightly, devastating. Reading the suspicions of other explosives around the city put me in a state of fear I’d never experienced before. We’re told to stay away from trash cans, don’t travel in large groups and don’t leave home.
This IS my home, and your home isn’t supposed to be like this.
Now the city is locked down following the intense manhunt for those responsible. Schools are closed. Public transportation has stopped. In the midst of final exams and research paper deadlines quickly approaching, it’s hard to focus on anything else but the news.
I call Boston my home because it’s opened up the world to me. I’m from Hanover Penn., but Bostonians make you feel like a local. I cherish this city and intend to live here for a long long time. I love the opportunity it’s given me. I love its history. I love its pride. I love the spirit of people of who live here. So to be only a couple blocks away from the bombings that took place, and to hear the sirens, and to see the helicopters- crushes me. Like most here, I’ve been glued to the TV and my smartphone looking for answers. Who did this? How many are injured? How many are killed? What’s being done? And after every breaking news segment, it got worse.
But after each day this week and after each tragedy, from bombings to shootings to manhunt, the stories of heroism and good deeds came forth. The spirit of Boston that I fell in love with was broadcasted to the world, and now everyone has a connection with the “city upon a hill.” We all became Bostonians.