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This week’s Boston Marathon was an inspiration to me. Last year’s bombings could have brought the country’s oldest continuous (and most prestigious) marathon to its knees. Instead, the heinous actions of a few thugs galvanized the collective strength of a city and, really, an entire nation.

Nearly 36,000 runners and a million spectators came together on Monday to show the world the powerful potential of the human spirit. US Vice President Joe Biden said that the people collecting in Boston were sending a message to terrorists. “America will never, ever, ever stand down…We own the finish line.”

I loved the cover of the commemorative issue of Sports Illustrated Approximately 3,000 Boston residents, survivors, officials and first responders showed up to have their photo taken at the Marathon’s finish line. They are standing just feet from last year’s bomb blasts.

It’s a striking contrast from last year’s cover photo of a group of police officers rushing to the aid of a downed runner. I’d say what a difference a year makes. But, in truth, we were standing tall then, and we’re standing tall now.

Never underestimate the power of the human spirit.