These particular blog entries have followed a similar theme over the past month; I have attempted to illustrate how in the coming seasons, loved ones, old and young, will come together and enjoy once again summer and an American tradition, Woodman’s of Essex.  “A Yankee Tradition since 1914”, it only seems appropriate then to refrain from discussing our award-winning seafood and the excitement of summer approaching for one week to discuss my particular feelings and sentiments of the Boston Marathon Bombings.  As a blog intended to promote Woodman’s of Essex and all that encompasses, transcending beyond its rudimentary nature, I feel obligated to myself, the Woodman’s family, and the Boston community, to express the emotions I now face in wake of the attacks that occurred in my beloved hometown.

Growing up outside of the Boston area, the city itself has become a quintessential aspect as to who I am, and now, attending school in the Greater Philadelphia area, is experiencing a different sensation that I have yet to experience, homesickness.  The particular homesickness I am talking about, however, I believe is quite unusual, that is if you are not from Boston.  As stated, Boston is not just where I am from; it is a part of me just as it is all Bostonians who grew up loving the city.  Thus, my homesickness spawns from almost a sense of guilt, a guilt seemingly contrived from the nutriment I have experienced living with Boston in my heart.  Oh so many miles away I feel that I have left my home abandoned, I not only feel, but want to be next to other Bostonians to mourn, commemorate, and strengthen through the community.  Yesterday’s events, not the explosions themselves, but the actions that soon followed helps me to understand this sense of homesickness and guilt I am experiencing.  It is the Bostonian way to care for one another, a large American city with the strongest of strong small town community.  These brave first responders that have been rightfully hoisted up remind me why I hang a poster of a Boston skyline in my dormitory, why I seemingly am wearing a Red Sox, Bruins, or Patriots shirt every other day, and why, for the rest of the week I will wear proudly a particular Boston Red Sox cap.

With me at school I have a red hat, embroidered with the iconic pair of Red Sox.  The hat also, furthermore, features the classic Red Sox “B”, only on this hat the word “Believe” is spelled from it.  The hat’s message of believe originates from 2004 in response to the hope of a baseball team and an entire community of ending an 86 yearlong curse.  This week, however, the hat’s message will serve as a reminder to myself and all that read its message of the Belief in Boston, the belief in its people.  I utterly believe the spirit of this great city will prevail any acts of terror.  I believe the people of Boston will indefinitely come together strongly with one another in the wake of the horrific events.  I believe Boston will never be afraid, only ready and strong thanks to the resiliency of its inhabitants that, yesterday, exhibited the truest forms of bravery, love, and commitment to one another.  Boston has always been a symbol of belief in this country.  In the 18th century this city most notably was the embodiment of belief in freedom and independence this country looked towards.  And Today, Boston stands as physical Belief this country has for resiliency, community, and the truest of American spirit.

In my first blog entry, I discussed how Woodman’s of Essex was a staple of the American Spirit, of tradition, and how New England communities are the strongest knit in the world.  I cannot fathom to see how more prevalent the notion of community and American Spirit is in regards to Boston, Massachusetts.  All of yesterday in media coverage, what continually came to the center of any event were those that undoubtedly presented themselves to help.  In a day of unquestionable evil that leaves many to question the nature of humanity, we see more cases that prove otherwise.  More men and women committed themselves to saving those injured than will be responsible for these attacks.  More men and women, some even after completing 26.2 miles donated blood to save the lives of strangers than will be responsible for these attacks.  The truest Bostonian spirit of community, love, and toughness was exhibited yesterday from Commonwealth Avenue, to Boylston Street, at Mass General and all other hospitals, to households throughout the area, and to social media where undoubtedly everyone hoped and prayed together in a time of pain and uncertainty.  The American Spirit and community I have previously written about are unfortunately easiest to find in days such as yesterday.  Media networks have done an outstanding job of focusing upon those heroic first responders and the love and sense of community all of Boston exhibited during this horrific event.

Cruel irony placed this nation’s worst attack since 9/11 in Boston, Massachusetts and on Patriots’ Day.  Of course, the joy and celebration of the day cannot go without noting.  From 11:00 AM when the first pitch is thrown at Fenway Park, to later in the evening when all of the runners have finished the marathon, Bostonians off from work and school rejoice together in remembrance of how this city and state exemplified the upmost courage and sense of freedom during the foundational years of this country.  Unfortunately yesterday, Bostonians once again had to prove the spirit of freedom and strength has never exited the heart of this city.  Patriots’ Day is a day where we may celebrate those early Americans that risked their lives for the defense of their liberties and the vision of freedom they had for this great nation.  In the coming years we will continue to commemorate the courageous acts of Patriots.  In the coming years not only will we remember the Patriots at Lexington and Concord, but the Boston Policeman, EMS, and other first responders that saved lives on Boylston Street and Comm. Ave.  We will remember Marathoners and volunteers that without experience rose to any challenge necessary of saving another life.  We will remember the doctors, nurses, and other hospital staff that worked countless hours in Boston hospitals that day.  We will remember 8 year old Martin Richard and all of those who lost their lives at the 117th Boston Marathon.  We will remember how Boston came together as a strong community and exhibited the upmost levels of toughness, resiliency, and American spirit.

Woodman’s, although in Essex, Massachusetts feels very much a part of the Boston community.  Having done a number of clambakes within Boston for some of the city’s best and most famous companies, schools, and organizations, the attacks on Boston feels all too personally for  the Woodman’s family and everyone involved in the company, just as most people feel today.  I am certain I speak for all of them in saying that we bestow our sincerest of prayers to the victims and their families as well as the greatest of thanks to those who promoted the spirit of Boston, the Spirit of America, and the spirit of strength and resiliency on that fateful day.


Jack Gourdeau

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