Boylston is empty.
It is Sunday, and Boylston Street — the avenue of the Boston Public Library, Copley Square, the Prudential Tower, and the Old South Church — is, nearly a week after the terrorist attack of Patriots’ Day, empty. One of the central arteries of the great New England metropolis — usually crowded with vitality and ambition and the hectic beat of urban life — is bare, with the exception of a few police officers and FBI agents. In a grim reminder of the toll of terror, a few signs celebrating the Boston Marathon remain in that empty space. A crime scene, that stretch of Boylston has also become a time capsule.
There is a hole in the city. There is a hole in too many families and too many hearts.
John Winthrop, a leader of those Puritans who founded the Massachusetts Bay Colony, proclaimed in 1630 that the new commonwealth would be a “City upon a Hill” to serve as an exemplar of success or failure to people around the world. Well, nearly 400 years after Winthrop’s sermon, the city of Boston serves yet again as an example: of what terror would destroy and of the means of resisting terror.
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