Monday, August 12, 2013

Beautiful Boston is Back

I was in Boston yesterday on a gorgeous sunny Sunday.

This was my first time back since the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15, 2013.

I have been spending a lot of time in Sweden, as part of my sabbatical this year and, upon my return to Massachusetts, knew that I had to go back to Boston to visit the locations of the bombings and to pay tribute to all those who have suffered so much. The shock of that day continues but, as I have written on other occasions, New Englanders are resilient.

In the photos below, taken around the Boston Common yesterday, I tried to capture the pure joy of  the people in Boston and the beauty of nature coupled with the architecture and landscaping.

I also meandered on Boylston Street and stood close to the marathon finish line where the two bombs had exploded that day a few seconds and just over 200 yards apart.   

At the next INFORMS annual meeting, which is taking place in Minneapolis, I will see one of the Boston marathon runners, Professor Alla Kammerdiner, from New Mexico State University, who invited me to speak in a session that she organized for the conference on cybersecurity and big data. She managed to finish the race before the bombs struck and then heard the news as she was making her way back to her hotel.

Yesterday, I also saw the headquarters of The One Fund Boston, which has raised over 60 million dollars to assist the victims and their families. The administrator of One Fund Boston is the UMass Amherst alum, Ken Feinberg. I heard him speak on April 27, 2013 at the UMass Rising Gala in Amherst. He is an amazing speaker and has been an administrator of several other well-known victim funds.

And, coincidentally, I stopped at the Four Seasons hotel to catch my breath and the staff was setting up for a wedding. Only after I returned back to Amherst, did I find out that the wedding was that of the son of Professor David Simchi-Levi of MIT, who is well-known in operations research and supply chain circles, and his wife, Ethel. The wedding announcement was in The Sunday New York Times. I congratulated David with a hearty Mazel-tov!

Beautiful Boston is back and it felt really good to be back in Boston!