One year ago my husband, Major Adam Davis, had just returned from Afghanistan, where he was fighting the war on terror, uninjured. We took a long walk into sunny Boston and in a matter of seconds our lives were changed forever. It is difficult to believe it has already been one year—it feels like only a few weeks. We still have a long road to walk.
I stand here today as a proud Bostonian, although Adam and I just moved here three years ago. The city has stood by us, supported us, and helped us heal. Together we held each other in the face of terror, we grieved in the face of tremendous loss, and we grew in the face of adversity. Our survivor community is not something any of us chose to be a part of. Yet we are just that; a community. There were many moments we could not have made it through without one another. We find peace in providing a shoulder to cry on, a warm embrace, and a hand to hold in a crowd. We know just through eye contact what the other is feeling. I am thankful for our friendships.
As I look back on this past year, I think of the lessons we have had to learn and re-learn. That no milestone is too small to celebrate, even doing a happy dance as each of us was able to walk into a non-handicapped bathroom stall again. That moods are contagious; our community, our city, our first responders, surgeons, physical and mental therapists would not and will not let us fail, and their unwavering devotion to strength is why we stand here Boston Strong today. That it is ok to not be ok; we have and still have to let ourselves grieve. We can stay in bed for a couple of days even. Yet it is that Boston Strong attitude that gets us back out and when we cannot find the strength on our own we have those around us who lift us back up.
My wish, if I were allowed to have one, is that we use this day, not just as a day of remembrance, but as a day of action. I wish that everyone who is facing adversity today would have the support that we have had. If anyone is wondering what they can do, I would answer “Look around. People in your community need your support, your patience, and your time.” Let April 15 be a day when we all work together to make the world a better place. The biggest lesson I have learned is that something can go horrifically wrong in our lives in a matter of seconds. It is up to us, however, to make every single second count after, because believe me, they do. Thank you.