A year ago the world was shocked to hear of the horrific bombing at the finishing line of the Boston Marathon. Senseless and cruel. All the joy and fun and sense of achievement were, in one moment, changed to fear, pain and anguish. And, as the number of dead and wounded became clear, grief. And anger.
Patrick Downes, the nephew of a close friend of mine and his new wife Jess, were among the victims, caught in the blast. Each lost a leg. Each went through a long series of painful operations. And there were so many other victims, so much suffering.
Two days ago I received a link to a speech that Patrick gave. I was moved to tears. I was inspired. Please watch this video
and listen to the words of a truly remarkable young man.
So often I am asked how I can have hope for our future in a world where there is so much violence, so much destruction of the natural world, so much pain and despair, so much hatred.
One of my reasons for hope is the indomitable human spirit. All around us are people who overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles and provide inspiration, renewing our faith in human nature. Patrick Downes is a very special one of those people. Today he walks the last mile of the Marathon on his prosthetic leg, an act of determination and true courage. And there will be other survivors and their loved ones there today, showing solidarity. I shall be walking with you in spirit, Patrick.
Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE
Founder, the Jane Goodall Institute &
UN Messenger of Peace