Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Year of Blue and Gold

Today we marked the one year anniversary of the horrific Boston Marathon Bombings.

This day in western Massachusetts is filled with strong winds and torrential rains as though nature is crying, too, for the 3 lives lost, the over 260 injured, and for our community being transformed.

It is a year of blue and gold with Boston Strong becoming a symbol and mantra for resilience.

These are the colors of the Boston Marathon finish line
 the colors of One Fund Boston,
 and also the colors of Boston Strong.
A friend and colleague of mine, Dr. Alla Kammerdiner, who is Ukrainian, and who I saw last February at a conference at the University of Florida and whose session on cybersecurity I spoke at at the INFORMS Minneapolis Conference (and we were videotaped)., ran the Boston Marathon last year and I wrote about her experience on this blog.

I reached out to her this past week as the anniversary was approaching. She will be returning to Boston and will be running the 2014 Boston Marathon next Monday.

My first language is also Ukrainian and today's USAToday cover highlighted both the anniversary and the events in the country of my parents:
The Ukrainian flag is featured below and when I see the Boston blue and gold banners I am always reminded of Ukraine and the will of its people to be free despite what seem to be insurmountable challenges. The blue stands for the blue of the sky and the gold for the color of the fields of grain since, for many years, Ukraine was known as the breadbasket of Europe.
And this year, as in the two previous years, whenever I return to the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, where I am a Visiting Professor of Operations Management,  I am surrounded by blue and gold with the Swedish flag unfurled on many stately occasions and even the trolley flying what, to me, looks like the Ukrainian flag.
For all those out there, never give up your dreams of freedom and thanks for all the acts of courage and integrity!