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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Boston Strong: Harvard Students Send Their Love Overseas

"In the face of meaningless discrimination and senseless violence, humanity has always managed to retain an extraordinary capacity for empathy, compassion, and love. I see no reason we should stop now."
- Justin Porter '16

"THANK YOU for YOUR SUPPORT: Boston Loves You"
In Arabic: "To the Middle East - From Boston, with love"

The recent and tragic events that befell Boston only one week ago have cast a shadow of solemnity over the city and its residents. Being at Harvard during times like these has been emotionally trying, making the stress of everyday life - exams, extracurricular commitments, relationship drama - seem petty in comparison.

However, our proximity to the epicenter of the attacks, which was only 15-20 minutes away, did give us unique insight into the local experience, as well as an opportunity to respond and make an impact. One such group of students started a project in light of the overwhelming support for Boston from around the world after the attacks (see here and here), entitled "With Love, From Boston", in which students and passerby in Harvard Square wrote heartfelt messages to the international community as a symbol of solidarity and gratitude. 

Brianna Bueltman '16, one of the students behind the mission, told us how the idea came about. "The day of the Boston lockdown, my friend Lea [Parker '16] posted a link to the pictures that people in Kabul had taken, sending their love to Boston. She asked me, 'Why is this not our response when tragedy hits them?' And I thought, you know, why not? Let's do something about it."

The project was enthusiastically received by the student body and is set to continue throughout the week. Check out a few of the photos below!

One of the most fantastic things about this place is not only how much people genuinely care about issues, but also the lengths they will go to follow through on their words and feelings. But when we tried to praise the crew on their efforts, Brianna shook her head and smiled, emphasizing that it was the compassion and empathy of our friends abroad that was the true magic of the project; "With Love, From Boston" simply returned the favor.

"To Syria, to Kabul, to everyone who has shown love to Boston in the midst of their own trying times: from the bottom of our hearts, thank you! We thank you and we remember you."

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