Editor's note: News On 6 anchor Chera Kimiko is part of a large group of Tulsans who will be running in the Boston Marathon on Monday. Chera co-anchors the News On 6 at 9 p.m. newscast on Tulsa CW.
Over the course of the next several days, I will be blogging, sending pictures and doing reports about the 118th Boston Marathon. I hope you will join me on a journey that will be filled with many emotions. You do not have to be a runner to feel a connection to this marathon. This year, and for many years to follow, the event won't be just about running—but rather the determination, courage, unity and unwavering strength of Bostonians and our nation. I encourage you to share your thoughts on my Facebook and Twitter pages.
Boston Strong. These are two simple words with enormous meaning. For me, the meaning is personal for a couple of reasons. First, because my dad and his family are from Boston—most still living in Dorchester. But more importantly because I am running this marathon for those who are no longer with us, for those who were injured and for those who ran last year and had one of their greatest moments yanked from under their feet, literally.
When we recall the bombing of the Boston Marathon, we can remember where we were and what we were doing. And just like the Oklahoma City bombing and 9/11, they are vivid memories. I was at work, texting and congratulating my running partners who had just crossed the finish line. Not five minutes later, I looked up at the TVs mounted around our newsroom and saw my Uncle Greg, who is a reporter in Boston, talking on national news. I was confused. He was disheveled. Then I heard a voice say, "Bombs have exploded at the finish line at the Boston Marathon." It took me 15 minutes to contact my family and friends because the phone lines were jammed. Fortunately, everyone I knew there was okay! Some just finished, some were in their hotels and some did not get to finish—but they were all alive!
So here we are a year later, thinking and remembering those who survived and soared. Regardless if you are one of the 36,000 runners participating in the Boston marathon, or one of millions just walking down the street in your neighborhood, know that on April 21st your steps represent unity, that someone is in awe of you, inspired by you and thankful for your support.
Vice President Joe Biden has shared this quote from his mother: "You are defined by your courage and redeemed by your loyalty." I hope we can all be as courageous as those who are running the marathon this year with prosthetic legs, burns across their bodies or scars that will never go away. And I hope we can be as loyal to those who were affected as we are to ourselves.
My friends who were in Boston that day are forever changed. Some are still angry and some are sad, but all are resilient and determined to make our nation a better one. A stronger one.
For me, running this marathon may be one of the most important things I'll ever do. I am filled with mixed emotions like pressure, sadness, excitement, and just being overwhelmed. But I see you, I hear you, and I know of you… and this race is for you. We are all Boston Strong.