April 16, 2013 Dear Steve, Yesterday, we experienced a horrific tragedy as a state with the attacks on the 117th running of the Boston Marathon. I am confident in the resiliency and strength of Massachusetts and its residents and I know that we will bring those responsible for this terrible event to justice. We will overcome this tragedy. In the coming day, more details will emerge. Right now, my thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families, and all those who were affected by these unconscionable acts. Once again, our heartfelt gratitude goes to the first responders as well as the volunteers, runners, and spectators who rushed to aid the victims at the scene and showed their capacity to sacrifice their own needs to help their fellow human beings. We experienced unfathomable horror and tremendous sadness on a day when we come together as a state, nation, and global community to celebrate and witness our nation's oldest and most prestigious race, the Boston Marathon. This day celebrates the spirit of the marathon run as a global phenomenon that transcends national boundaries. The Boston Marathon was inspired by the Battle of Marathon, which took place in Marathon, Greece in the year 490 BC. An Athenian army messenger ran 26.2 miles from Marathon to Athens to announce the Athenians' victory over the Persians. The very first running of the Boston Marathon began on Pleasant Street in Ashland in 1897 and stayed there for the next 26 years. The starting line was moved to Hopkinton in 1924 to increase the length of the race to 26.2 miles and MetroWest plays an important role, with the first 16 miles of the race traveling through our communities. While emotions are still raw and the feelings of sadness and anger are high, we must focus on coming together to show our strength as a Commonwealth and as a nation. We must show our sense of community, honor, resilience, and our dedication to remain a strong, vibrant state, pushing forward to overcome tragedy. This is a time to gather together. A time to work together, no matter how different our backgrounds are or our lives may seem because, quite simply, we are all members of the Massachusetts community and we are all Americans. Facing such a tragedy together helps us understand that we have a stake in each other. We are bound by a common thread that makes us more alike than any of our differences. Today, the Battle of Marathon is celebrated as a triumph of democracy over empire. In the coming days, weeks, and months, I believe that the communities and residents of the Commonwealth will be lauded for our ability to triumph over such terrible tragedy. We will show the nation and the world our courage and selflessness to care for those in need, and our capacity to remain hopeful. We will focus on looking towards a bright future and a better tomorrow even as we face some of our darkest hours. I remain committed to keeping that sense of honor and unity with me. In my work, I promise to focus on building bridges and bolstering our communities so that we remain the strong and vibrant state the world knows us to be. As always, if I can ever be of any assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact me at Karen.Spilka@masenate.gov or call my office at (617) 722-1640.