To all of my friends and family:
I have the honor and privilege to represent the Martin Richard Foundation in this years running of the Boston Marathon. For those of you who do not know, Martin Richard was an 8 year old who was killed by the explosion in 2013. A photograph from 2012 was released a few days later of Martin holding a sign saying "No more hurting people. Peace". The vision of the Martin Richard Foundation states, "We envision a place where people recognize the humanity in others and model the decency needed for a united, compassionate, and inclusive community." And it is something that I believe we can all unite behind. During the troubling times that have struck the nation in the past few years, I hope that we can move forward, stronger and remember those who made this world a great place, like Martin.
For many years now, it has been a goal of mine not only to participate in such a historic race but specifically the 122nd running because April 16th is a day that means so much to me. Back in 2007, one of the worst tragedies struck the nation. Although the event was tragic, the Virginia Tech community rallied together to prevail. I knew that I wanted to be a part of a university that had this sense of family. While attending Virginia Tech, I was following the Boston Marathon and remember being in shock after seeing a breaking news headline. Overwhelmed and in disbelief, over the next few days I once again saw a community pull together and show strength even in the darkest of times. I was fortunate enough to spend time in New England during that summer as an intern, which led to a job during my gap year before dental school. I had such a great experience with those around me that it only reaffirmed that I wanted to return and run in the Boston Marathon.
April 16th 2018, marks the date for the 122nd running of the most prestigious marathon in the United States. It also marks the 5th anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing and the 11th anniversary of the Virginia Tech shooting, my alma mater. Having the opportunity to participate in this race, with the Boston community and for Martin: I couldn't dream of a better way to spend my 26th birthday.
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