NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

May 9, 2013

Bombers 'don't get to win'


Newburyport Daily News

---- — You have to love the spirit and attitude of Remy Lawler, the young woman from Amesbury who was injured in the Boston Marathon bombings.

She went to the finish line on Patriots Day to support her longtime friend from Amesbury, Erin Hurley, who was running in the race. She stood with Hurley’s boyfriend, Jeff Bauman. As Hurley neared the finish, she stepped forward from Bauman to get a better photo. And those few moments were critical.

One of the Tsarnaev brothers had dropped a bag near Bauman’s feet. It exploded a short time later, costing Bauman both of his legs. Lawler was injured in the blast by a piece of shrapnel that struck her leg. They were two of the over 200 people injured in the two explosions; three others died from the bombs.

This week, three weeks removed from the bombing, Lawler is recovering at her parents’ home in Amesbury. She’s endured a lot — surgeries to repair the 9-inch wound in her leg, a physical recovery process that appears to be progressing well and an emotional recovery process that will no doubt be the longest.

Her attitude amplifies the kind of tenacity and strength that we have seen demonstrated throughout Boston and beyond in the wake of the bombings. Her feelings run a broad range, but her guiding philosophy is to not let the bombers “win.”

“They set out to make people afraid, to ruin people, to break people. They have not accomplished anything. They lose. Everyone is stronger because of it,” Lawler told The Daily News.

In the wake of the bombings, we all saw something that brought immense pride to our state’s capital city. The fast action and heroism of first responders — police, medics, firefighters, people in the crowd — demonstrated how instinctive it is to help one’s fellow man. In the days that followed, Bostonians showed their immense pride in their city and their unshakable spirit of unity and defiance. Bostonians earned the admiration of people across the globe.

The headlines are already starting to fade and life returns to its normal routine for most of us, but for survivors who were directly impacted by the bombings, things will never be the same. We should keep them in our hearts and be there to support them.

As for Remy Lawler, her plan for next year’s Patriots Day is perhaps the best indicator of her spirit. She plans to go to the Marathon.

“Yes, I will be there. There’s no way I’m not going to be there. It’s going to take a while to get back to Boylston [Street] — to see the spot where I was standing. But I’m not going to let these stupid boys ruin the Boston Marathon for me. They don’t get to win, they lose.”