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Commentary: On Boston Marathon Day, thoughts, prayers and hope from Seattle

SEATTLE — We start by putting our spotlight on Pete Carroll’s famous mantra “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.”

The problem is – thousands of people were robbed of that finish – some even more than a finish – in Boston last year.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve never run a full marathon, nor have the desire. But tomorrow morning, my thoughts and prayers will be with every runner and every volunteer – everyone present at the Boston Marathon. Because to me, it feels right; because the one-year anniversary – and every anniversary of the tragic bombings should be an opportunity for the Boston Marathon to show that it’s stronger than ever before.

Whether we understand what drives a human being to run 26-point-2 miles, we should all understand the sense of accomplishment and personal achievement that completing it brings.

Being denied that chance after weeks of preparation and sacrifice was a catastrophe in itself – yet one that, for many, will be made whole again tomorrow.

I applaud the Boston Athletic Association for expanding this year’s field of runners to include some of the first-responders and victims, or family members and those who were personally touched by last year’s tragedy. It allows them to tribute the victims in the most appropriate way, providing therapy for some, closure for others. And for those who cross the finish line, the ultimate triumph in the face of adversity and grief.

And that’s where the “Sonicsgate” guys got it right, with their title of their short documentary on Bill Iffrig, the 79-year-old Lake Stevens man, who was knocked down by the blasts last year.

“The Finish Line,” they called it – because tomorrow, that stagnant line will mean so much more.

It’s the power of that line – the unique and forceful motivator in the midst of tragedy – that will force many who normally wouldn’t dream of finishing the Boston Marathon to somehow get it done. Similar to many marathons, it will be a case of mind over matter; yet minds driven by dynamic ideals – from a sense of community to freedom to vengeance over criminals who tried to ruin a time-honored tradition.

It’s not an outlandish prediction that the Boston Marathon finish line will play host to more unique stories tomorrow than it ever has before.

A lack of proximity shouldn’t prevent us from being there in spirit – from cheering them on from afar.

Because, as we’ve seen before – if anything good comes from tragedy – it’s unity. That’s simply the American way.

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