As an out-of-state student athlete here at UCLA, I feel twice as lucky to have a sense of pride for both my hometown and my school. I grew up in Hanson, Massachusetts, a small, rural town that is about 20 miles south of Boston. Last year at the Boston Marathon, an act of senseless violence took the lives of three individuals and injured hundreds of others. The city of Boston is strong, resilient, and full of people who have one thing in common- a fierce love for the city.
I want to give my sincere condolences to the families of the victims. Though I wish I could be at home today to demonstrate my support for the marathon runners, I think that it is a tribute to Boston's resiliency that we have people sending well-wishes home from all over the world. This tragedy has united all Bostonians and Americans together in a campaign against violence. More importantly, it has been met with an even greater sense of purpose than the violence possessed. Boston has come back stronger than ever with a marathon that our city will forever support with fervor and pride. Today, we all run together in remembrance of the victims.
UCLA showed immense support and respect for the tragic events of last year. Furthermore, a UCLA alumnus was championed today as the winner of the Boston Marathon. Meb Keflezighi became the first American in 31 years to win the Boston Marathon, finishing with a time of 2:08:37. During his time at UCLA, Keflezighi won four NCAA championships for the track and field and cross country program. I am overjoyed at the culmination of Bruin excellence, Boston pride, and the sheer greatness of both places that I live. Congratulations to Meb on honoring Boston in the best way possible. Congratulations to the people of Boston on overcoming every obstacle that has faced you. As always, I'm sending my love home today.
We are Boston Strong.