This is Camden, my 8-year-old son. He was at the finish last year wearing his “my mom is faster than your dad” T-shirt and holding up the sign he had made me. He never got to see me finish. He was sent off into the crowds full of panic and fear. He listened to the adults he was with and did what he was told. He was brave. He tried blocking his ears but the noise was too loud.
Camden thought his mom was “dead.”
In the months after the bombings last year, I would watch him sleep. It brought me back to the first few weeks he was born, when I would stand by his crib to make sure he was breathing.
Last year, I would stand by his bed and cry, knowing that my brave little man never got to show me the sign he made; knowing my race had put him in harms way; reliving the two hours I spent in silence not knowing if he was safe.
I felt guilt and anger.
Camden won’t be at the finish this year. He said “sorry mom, I just can’t go.” I am running Boston to show Camden that his mom is brave and that, with time, he will be able to go to the Boston Marathon again.
He will be able to see a fire truck without looking scared or watch fireworks without jumping into our laps in a panic. He will be able to sit through a thunderstorm without running for cover.
The thought of him not being at the finish breaks my heart and will open up a new stream of emotions. And I am sure when I get home on April 21st, 2014, I will watch Camden fall asleep and I will cry. Tears of happiness that together we did it!
— Amanda Burgess
Time for this message again, now, more than ever.
On a rooftop, (Where else do superheroes talk?) Spider-Man points out to Cap that most of America has Cap down as a traitor. Spidey then just wants to know how Cap deals with it. Cap turnsaway and says,
“I remember the first time I really understood what it was to be an American…What it was to be a patriot.“
“I was just a kid…A million years ago, it seems sometimes. Maybe twelve. I was reading Mark Twain. And he wrote something that struck me right down to my core…something so powerful, so true, that it changed my life. I memorized it so I could repeat it to myself, over and over across the years. He wrote —‘In a republic, who is the country?
Is it the government which is for the moment in the saddle? Why, the government is merely a temporary servant: it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a patriot and who isn’t. It’s function is to obey orders, not originate them.
Who, then is the country? Is it the newspaper? Is it the pulpit? Why, these are mere parts of the country, not the whole of it, they have not command, they have only their little share in the command.
In a monarchy, the king and his family are the country: In a republic it is the common voice of the people each of you, for himself, by himself and on his own responsibility, must speak.
It is a solemn and weighty responsibility, and not lightly to be flung aside at the bullying of pulpit, press, government, or the empty catchphrases of politicians.
Each must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, and which course is patriotic and which isn’t. You cannot shirk this and be a man.
To decide it against your convictions is to be an unqualified and inexcusable traitor, both to yourself and to your country, let men label you as they may.
If you alone of all the nation shall decide one way, and that way be the right way according to your convictions of the right, you have your duty by yourself and by your country. Hold up your head. You have nothing to be ashamed of’.”
Cap continues, “ Doesn’t matter what the press says. Doesn’t matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn’t matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right.
This nation was founded on one principle above all else: The requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world—
(Source: , via policygal)
Without the historian Sue Eakin, who died in 2009, nobody would be talking about Solomon Northup or the other once-forgotten souls portrayed in “Twelve Years a Slave.” Michael Schulman on the woman who spent her career rescuing Northup’s memoir from obscurity: http://nyr.kr/1gZc9Mb
What would we do without the dedicated and amazing human beings that are historians?