Fort Wayne dentist Dr. David Reichwage ran his 26th consecutive Boston Marathon on Monday. Needless to say, it turned into something utterly unlike the previous 25.
Here are a few of his thoughts on a day of triumph turned tragic:
"Terrorism, destruction, death, and tragedy overshadowed any importance of the 117th Boston Marathon. The joyful exhilaration, thrill of finishing, and celebration were quickly pushed aside.
"Despite the horrific scene, the spirit in the people of Boston was shown brilliantly bright by everyone who unselfishly jumped into action to help the injured, law enforcement, and first responders.
... I have run 25 Boston marathons, and each year I feel the exhilaration, excitement, and sense of accomplishment in just participating in this event. Forget the distance, the miles, the weather, the course, or the finish time. There is a unifying force in Boston wherever you go. On the street, in the mall, at the expo, and at restaurants -- it goes beyond excitement, winner comradery, friendliness, or common goals.
"It allows complete strangers of all nationalities and cultures from around the globe to gather in Boston for a few days to unify. It transcends politics, religion, and the economy. It allows the people of Boston -- sales clerks, servers, bartenders, police, taxi drivers -- to feel a closeness to be able to come up and talk, share, or have a conversation.
"It is beyond the time and moment of expectation or achievement. It is a quality of the human spirit. For an instant of time, we connect with each other on a deeper level than superficial self. We share our own spirit and soul of who we truly are. All that matters is that we were there."