As crowds cleared out, our phones stopped working. We were getting calls from Oklahoma and Kentucky. Signals were getting crossed. Our parents terrified we couldn't be reached. Feeling lost and clueless, since this was our first ever trip to the Marathon, we decided our only option was to walk. And that's what we did. We walked and walked, all the way to Watertown where we found solace at a friend's house until our parents could pick us up. My sister's car was locked down in the city so we later had to retrieve it.
My family, as many Bostonians did, followed the news intently that day and the days after. We barely slept. When the news finally reported on the victims and the souls lost, my heart broke. Boston was devastated. A piece of our great city was taken that day. But we were resilient. We came together. We showed our support. Our love. Our will to never give up. We were fearless, we are fearless. And with that, today I share a special charitable organization that is near and dear to the heart of all Bostonians.
It is fitting that the Foundation should honor Martin's message of peace by investing in education, athletics and community. The mission is simple: The Martin Richard Foundation honors Martin's message of "No more hurting people. Peace" by investing in education, athletics and community. Martin Richard’s view of peace went well beyond simply wanting to prevent violence. To Martin, peace meant things like togetherness, teamwork, fairness, sportsmanship, inclusion, and simple acts of kindness. His Foundation strives to encourage youth and adults to improve the lives of others and become bridge builders, peacemakers, leaders and entrepreneurs. We truly feel the same way and hope to instill a little bit of this into our readers.
This foundation drives Boston's pride. We are determined to bring peace through Martin's message, the way he would want us to. Join us in getting involved by becoming part of Team MR8. Named for Martin’s initials and his sports number, Team MR8 was formed immediately after the announcement of the Martin Richard Foundation in January 2014 as a means for marathon runners to raise needed funds for the advancement of the charity’s mission. In the days and weeks after the bombing at the Boston Marathon, Little League teams began their season in Dorchester and the surrounding Boston neighborhoods. Remembering that Martin scrawled MR on every baseball he owned, many of his friends and teammates did the same on the sides of their hats as a way to honor Martin in their first season without him.
You can join Team MR8 to participate in such events as the Boston Marathon, Falmouth Road Race, and New York City Marathon. If running isn't your thing, you can get involved by purchasing Team MR8 apparel, in which proceeds contribute to Martin's inspiring words of giving back to communities in the world through peace and kindness. This is how we plan to get involved for now and we challenge you to do the same. Together we can devour the details of creating peace across communities and eventually the world, just like Martin wanted.