Framingham State remembers for One Boston Day

In honor of the second anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings, there was a moment of silence at Framingham State at 2:49 p.m. on Wednesday, April 15.

In an email sent by President F. Javier Cevallos that morning, he said Framingham State will be joining the town of Framingham and the rest of the Commonwealth in participating in “One Boston Day,” during which the state will honor and remember the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing victims.

In a video posted to the official One Boston Day website, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said this day will be for giving back to the community through acts of kindness and community service, along with, “taking something tragic and turning it into a very positive thing.”

Dean of Students Melinda Stoops sees One Boston Day as an opportunity to remember victims and to recognize those impacted by the bombings, while also providing an “opportunity to talk and heal in some ways, too.”

Stoops ran the Boston Marathon before, and her first race was after the 9/11 attacks. She said, “Safety was heightened, but there was no reason to believe or to question our safety.” After the bombings, that feeling changed.

She added she is glad the bombings diminished marathon participation and the “wonderful” charity work being continued by the volunteers and runners whom she feels are even more committed now.

Cevallos said the moment of silence will be an annual event, and he hoped that it allowed for “a moment of reflection” on the campus for everyone “to think, to remember and to heal.”

He added he wants to do more in the upcoming years for One Boston Day, such as have a plan for students who want to come together for the moment of silence.

“Certainly, having Heather speak at the commencement this year is going to be very interesting, and it will give us an opportunity to learn from her experience and to see what we can do next year building up on her visit,” said Cevallos of Heather Abbott, a Boston Marathon bombing survivor who will be the commencement speaker for this year’s undergraduate commencement ceremonies on May 17.

Alumna of FSU Nicole Dygon is running the Boston Marathon this year. “I’m not a very athletic individual – I lack coordination and walk into things constantly,” said Dygon who went on to say she wanted to run the Boston Marathon after the bombings and was inspired by the quote, “‘I run for those who can’t.’

“I wanted to run for all those runners who didn’t get a chance to finish the race that day, and for everyone who was affected by the bombings. It took me two years, but I’m finally running it.”

Dygon is running for the Ally Foundation, which is founded in honor of Ally Zapp, who was murdered by a repeat sex offender. “As a female and higher education professional, this cause is near and dear to my heart.”

Ava Craft, a senior, was at the finish line during the bombings. “It was weird because we didn’t know what was happening. Everyone was just running away. It was kind of scary.”

Other students on campus believe remembering the victims of the bombings is important. Callie Wilhelmi, a junior, remembered driving back to Framingham State with emergency vehicles everywhere. She said, “It’s important to remember the victims’ lives.”

One Boston Day hopes to show and add to the strong sense of community during and after the marathon bombings. Junior James Gagnon said, “It was a very tragic day, and so unexpected. But I think it just shows how our community came together instantly, and I think it’s good to remember just how fast everyone came to help.”