Dear Parents and Guardians,
I wanted to bring you up to date on how we are handling the situation in Boston. First, our community has been shaken by the news of the bombings in the city and our hearts go out to all those who have been directly impacted by the events there. We have been updating our students about the situation every morning in Morning Meeting and have been offering support to those students who have been particularly saddened by the developments. I have decided to restrict all travel to Boston and the immediate suburbs until we feel the situation there is completely safe. If you need to arrange transportation for your child to that area, please make sure to arrange that travel with Dean of Students Eric Nemitz.
In our talks with the students we are focusing on the victims and their families, on the heroes who rushed to help the victims, and on the outpourings of kindness shown to the people of Boston. We have cautioned them against rushing to judgment, and as always we have encouraged them to watch the news with a critical eye rather than simply absorbing everything presented there passively. Our students have formed a committee to contact the Red Cross to see if we can host a blood drive at our school as one response to this horrible tragedy. Students have also organized a candlelight vigil on the quad tonight to remember the victims of the bombings. However, we also feel it is important for our students to continue to stick to their routines, and continue with their classes, sports and activities. We are fortunate to live in such a safe and beautiful part of the world.
Growing up in Concord, Massachusetts, the annual celebration of Patriots Day on April 19th was the highlight of my year. My brother, sister and I would wake up early, pack our lunches and canteens and hike the three miles to the Old North Bridge to watch the reenactment of one of the first battles of the Revolutionary War. From there our parents would drive us into the suburbs of Boston to watch the runners make their way up “Heartbreak Hill” in the middle of the Boston Marathon. I was always struck by the courage and determination of those runners fighting and stretching their own limits rather than trying to beat one another. I was moved by the fans lining the course offering food, water, encouragement, and even kisses as the runners went by. Those days were special days filled with joy, family, community, celebration and humanity. As we mourn this terrible act I hope we will also celebrate the spirit of that day and spread the power that one can now feel emanating from Boston.