By Mayor Martin J. Walsh
The Boston Marathon showcases the best of Boston. People from all backgrounds and all neighborhoods line the streets and celebrate one another and our city. Runners are cheered on by complete strangers, because everyone is in it together. And even when the finish line is nowhere in sight, we lift each other up and we keep going.
This April 15 marks the third year our city will celebrate One Boston Day. It honors those we lost, and those whose lives changed forever on April 15, 2013. As we honor our friends, neighbors and community members, we celebrate the resilience, generosity and strength shown by the people of this great city on that day, and every other.
Last year, I was proud to sign a proclamation making One Boston Day a permanent fixture in our city, and we plan to continue the tradition each year going forward. Boston is strong, and our values and traditions will endure. Four years ago, we came together as a city to support and help our fellow residents, and that’s the essence we hope to bring to April 15 this year, and every year thereafter. It’s our way to honor the bravery, resolve and unity that we displayed on that day through random acts of kindness. We will never forget what happened, but by supporting each other, we can continue to heal and get stronger together.
To mark One Boston Day this year, I encourage all of our residents to find a way to spread goodwill by giving back to their communities. We launched onebostonday.org so that individuals and organizations can share their plans of how they’re spreading kindness and hope throughout their communities. No matter who you are, on One Boston Day, you can “Make It Your Moment” — choose an act of kindness, no matter how small, and do something good.
Go through your closet and donate clothes or items you’re no longer using to charity. Donate blood at a blood drive or sign up to be a donor. Take part in one of the walks planned for the day or pledge time at a volunteer organization. Commit to being a mentor to a student or pick up litter around your neighborhood.
Last year, there were over 77,000 online posts by individuals and organizations pledging to dedicate the day to service and good will through using the hashtag #OneBostonDay on Twitter. As we get closer to the day, we’ll be sharing how others plan to spend their One Boston Day for inspiration. It’s my hope that each year we can involve more and more people and spread our message of kindness and support for one another throughout our city, our Commonwealth, and our country.
The Boston Marathon is an essential part of our city’s identity and shows the world that we will remain strong and continue our traditions no matter what. Residents of all backgrounds come together, celebrate each other’s accomplishments and do good for their community. I know this year we will continue our tradition of being there for our loved ones, our neighborhoods and our city. I want to thank each and every person who will make this tradition possible — thank you for showing the world what our city is made of.
Martin Walsh is Mayor of Boston.