Here is the text of an E-mail sent out by the B.A.A. to all Marathon volunteers. While Janette and I were fortunate enough not to be directly involved in the mayhem at the finish line, I feel proud to be included in the group of volunteers as a whole.
You can be sure that we'll be back volunteering next year. Hell, yes.
TO OUR VOLUNTEERS:
As we watch the latest episode in this agonizing story about Monday's cowardly attack on Boston, I want to be sure to let everyone who was kind enough to work on this year's marathon and marathon-related events know just how deep our gratitude is to everyone, and how proud we are to be associated with each and every one of you.
On Monday, everyone wearing a yellow or white or blue B.A.A. jacket performed in a manner that has been recognized around the world as the ultimate expression of how it is that people bring the human spirit to its highest level. Some of you ran to the bomb site because help was needed. Some directed runners who would otherwise have been lost and terrified. Some gave food. Some gave blankets. Some provided medical care in the most horrifying circumstances. The list is endless.
And the support of volunteers which has drawn a stunning degree of worldwide acclaim includes EVERYONE. The fact that runners were willing to accept the direction and help of volunteers who were there on Monday is a reflection of the confidence that has been inspired over the years by the action of ALL of the volunteers who work at B.A.A. events. There is a reservoir of confidence that these runners take from the actions of all volunteers, whether they were on the road or in the medical tent on Monday, or stuffing bags and envelopes in Wilmington or Framingham, or doing any of the hundreds of other things that so many of you have done.
The runners and everyone know that when they see a person in a B.A.A. jacket or receive the benefits of the work of unseen B.A.A. volunteers, they are dealing with human beings of the highest quality who simply will not settle for what is ordinary; people for whom excellence is normal and whose actions transcend excellence whenever and wherever it is needed.
Yesterday President Obama met with a small group of volunteers, in a session separate from the large interfaith service held in Boston. He heard what you have done. He met volunteers who had to wear new jackets on Thursday because the jackets that they wore on Monday were too bloody. He knows who you are and what you do. He was in awe.
And it is an awe that applies to ALL of you, whatever you do, because you all bring precisely that same spirit of selflessness.
The other thing we told the President is that it is the honor of a lifetime to work with all of you. People will point to you in your jackets and say "She, or he, is one of them. They are the ones who did it when Boston was attacked." The world has seen what you do, and the world will be as in awe of you as the President of the United States.
Tom Grilk, for the B.A.A.