Standing with our ‘Boston Strong’

April 29, 2013

Boston StrongBy Raina J. Johnson
Special to the Milwaukee Times

Last week after the horrific bombing attack at the Boston Marathon, which is always held on the third Monday in April, Patriots Day, our nation watched a days-long manhunt for the suspects and tired to decipher through various media reports of false information. Finally, one of the bombing suspects, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was found alive – and we cheered.
Now begins the questioning and mourning processes; laying to rest the three that were killed and caring for the injured at the hospitals, including the suspect that survived. His older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed during a shootout with police. On April 18, 2013, there was an interfaith prayer service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

The first speaker at the service was Reverend Liz Walker from Roxbury Presbyterian Church. Her impassioned opening remarks questioned God. “There are age-old questions that rise up far too often these days, questions we all ask no matter what our faith condition or our station in life. How can a good God allow bad things to happen? Where was God when evil slithered in and planted the horror that exploded our innocence?
“While someone this morning may have answers, I do not. But this is what I know, God is here, in the midst of this scared gathering, in this sanctuary and beyond – different faiths, different races, strangers bound first by loss and pain but now clinging together and growing strength in a city that has always faced the darkness head-on!”
Her questions are the same that many of all faiths asked when the bombs went off. But then God came through, various confirmed reports of first-responders and regular people going into the thick smoke using first-aid and carrying people out to safety.
Liz Walker also quoted a bit of scripture in her closing moments at the podium, citing 2 Corinthians 4:8-12 (NKJV), that reads, “We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed – always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So then death is working in us, but life in you.”
With the violence in our nation recently that really touches us all in some way, shape or form, and the conversation heating up in Washington with Congress surrounding gun violence, legislation and immigration reform – the good outweighs the bad, always.
President Obama spoke at the service and said, “Scripture tells us to run with endurance the race that is set before us. Run with endurance that race that is set before us. I’m here today on behalf of the American people with a simple message. Every one of us has been touched by this attack on your beloved city. Every one of us stands with you. Because, after all, it’s our beloved city, too.”
President Obama was right, Boston is everyone’s beloved city and through this tragedy at the marathon – the benefits have reached all the way to Milwaukee.
Ink to the People, located at 6600 West Calumet Road, is a custom t-shirt company that allows people to design, create and sell their t-shirt designs. They are responsible for the processing of orders, packing and shipping of the now-iconic ‘Boston Strong’ blue t-shirts being sold worldwide. The t-shirts were created by two college students from Emerson College in Boston, Chris Dobens and Nick Reynolds. The impact of the t-shirts has been a business booster for Ink to the People, which officially launched their website,, about a month ago, Todd said in a phone interview with the Milwaukee Times. The sales of the t-shirts are well on their way to donating over $500,000 to the One Fund in Boston. The One Fund was created to serve as a central fund for financial support to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.
Rev. Liz Walker was right; if we cling together and face the darkness head-on light will shine.