, Newburyport, MA

Local News

April 27, 2013

Out of tragedy, community


What happened that day in Boston that gives us hope for the future? I think that Cardinal Sean O’Malley spoke to this issue at the memorial service on April 18. On that day — at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, and then permeating into all of greater Boston — a crowd became a community. Most of the time we live in a crowd, which is filled with self-absorbed individuals minding their own business and ignoring one another. There are times, however, when the crowd becomes a community. A community is made up of individuals who refocus their identity on being part of something larger than themselves.

My hope and my prayer is that the community in greater Boston that has emerged — crossing religious, political, racial and ethnic lines to affirm the GOOD in the world — will not dissipate too soon.

And what of our future? Gov. Patrick has put it well. Concerning the surviving bomber, we seek accountability without vengeance. Those who just happen to be from the same nation or region or of the same religion are NOT to blame here. Concerning the future, we seek to re-establish a place wherein we can live in freedom, without fear.

And what of our future? President Obama summed it up well: “Boston, you WILL run again!”


The Rev. Clinton L. Barlow lives in Watertown and is the permanent interim pastor of the Millbury Baptist Church. He may be reached at

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