An essay MATT DAMON wrote about the Boston Marathon last month (Mar13) has taken on a new poignancy following the bombing horror at the famed Massachusetts race on Monday (15Apr13).
The Good Will Hunting star, who was born and raised in Cambridge in the Greater Boston area, put pen to paper to share his memories of the annual run, which his father and brother have competed in multiple times, and the piece has been imbued with new meaning in light of this week's atrocity.
He wrote, "I'll never forget standing there in the crowd with my brother, Kyle, as we looked first for (marathon ace) Bill Rodgers, and then, in the very same race as some of the most talented runners on earth, our smiling (and grimacing) 40-year-old dad...
"The drama was enough to propel my brother to literally follow our dad's footsteps and also run the race four times. To this day both my father and brother have their bib numbers archived with their most prized possessions and describe their experiences as some of the most emotional moments of their lives...
"The word 'Boston' is itself a hallmark in the international running community, forging a bond by the very sound of it between all who count themselves among its ranks and those who aspire to them."
Damon concludes by praising the altruistic efforts of those who take part, adding, "These people are doing something good for themselves - and for others. How great is that?"
Three people died, including an eight-year-old boy, and more than 170 were injured when two bombs ripped through crowds close to the marathon finishing line on Monday. Other stars who hail from the local area, including Damon's childhood friend Ben Affleck, have spoken out to pay tribute to the victims.