Monday, April 29, 2013

We are one with Boston

On Sunday, April 28th, 2013, the community of Lynn gathered to show support for the Boston Marathon victims, and to show our community's strength in the aftermath.  The peaceful event to continue the spirited walk or run of the Boston Marathon proceeded from North Shore Community College to the Bandstand at The Commons, where readings of poems and scripture were heard and a candlelight vigil was held.   A banner was made 'WE ARE ONE WITH BOSTON, Lynn MA" and the letters where filled by the color signatures of people.  Cara Fazio, a member of the community, united the community together for this praiseful event.  She sent out requests seeking help and speakers.  I responded to offer my help in any way, and I was then asked to share a reading.   The order of speakers were Mayor Kennedy, Local Writer/ Poet Elizabeth McKim, Katerina Panagiotakis Koudanis (myself), Cara Fazio and then Fr. Brian of St. Mary's Parish led the candlelight vigil.  Joy McNaughton sang the National Anthem as the crowd sand along.  

Photo Credit:  Mersini Panagiotakis

The following is my reading at the event.

     The Marathon story is one of a battle that changed human history.  
Each year commemorates a heroic run in one of the earliest battles of independence from 490 BC, when a messenger ran 25 miles from Marathon to Athens without stopping and burst to deliver the message at an assembly 'We won!' before collapsing and dying.  Another legend states a messenger was sent earlier from Athens to Sparta to enlist the aid of the Spartan soldiers to Marathon where Persians had landed with the intention of capturing and enslaving the city. With their horses sieged, country men ran to spread the messages uniting  for independence, in one of the earliest fights of freedom.

2,503 years later, 2 weeks ago, the marathon story was retold as a run to Boston where many bravely journeyed to the finish line during the bombings.

This poem, in bits of stanzas, is by the famous Lynn poet Alonzo Lewis, from the late 1800's.  His poem relates to the scene of bravery in Boston to that of one fought by the early defenders of democracy in 1826.  

The following is a passionate synopsis of the freedom heroes.

The Last Song of the Greeks
At Missolonghi 
~ by Alonzo Lewis, the Lynn Bard

Morn came, and the war drum at dawning was beat,
And its notes found the heroes untired on their feet! 
For through that dark midnight, the last they should keep,
They had stood by their guard unwelcomed by sleep.

The first gleam of day showed the crescent afar, 
And in the broad sunrise it glowed like a star, 
Whose baleful effulgence should light to the grave 
The best of the sons (and daughters) of the loyal and brave.

For weeks, and for months, they had famishing stood, 
By the bomb-shattered wall that was red with their blood;
The staff of their freedom stands fast in the ground, 
And the heroes undaunted are gathered around;
And the Bishop of Jesus, that white-haired old man, 
Gives the last rite of faith to the patriot clan.
And now, ere the first peal of thunder has roared; 
The last song of perishing Freedom is poured;
It peals from the lips of the dauntless and free, 
And the long notes roll out o'er the Levantine Sea.

"We will die! we will die! - See our flag---'t is on high! 
And yet freely it floats in the glorious sky!
'T is unsoiled by the touch of a tyrant or slave,
And if it must fall it shall sleep on our grave.

They may tell us 't were better to yield or to fly;
But we've sworn for our homes and our freedom to die;
Our fathers at Leuctra and Salamis (and may I add Boston) have bled,
And ne'er shall they say that their children have fled. 
But we've lifted our banner, we've planted our stone; 
We will triumph in glory, or perish alone;
Our flag yet floats free o'r (wickedness) dark power,
And we've valor and strength to defend it an hour.


God bless

Those who sponsored the event where:  
Lynn City Hall
Solimine Landergan & Richardson Funeral Home
St. George Greek Orthodox Church
St. Mary's Parish
Stop and Shop of Lynn
Shaws of Lynn
St. Vincent De Paul
Roland Appleton Rental Services
Cobbet and Fecteau Leary

Media covering event:

Link to event on facebook:

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