Mayor Walsh Pens Special Foreword for New Book Boston Strong

'Terrorists tried to destroy our beloved tradition on April 15, 2013. They failed,' the mayor wrote.

Image via Iron Mountain

Image via Iron Mountain

A new book that gives a detailed account of the harrowing events that occurred at the 2013 Boston Marathon, and the heroic deeds carried out by police and first responders leading up to the capture of one of the suspects accused of setting off the bombs at the finish line, will include an exclusive heartfelt foreword written by Mayor Marty Walsh, according to one of the book’s authors.

“Mayor Walsh was a calming force on the first anniversary of the marathon bombings and has shown he was listening when late Mayor Tom Menino told him the job is all about the people,” said David Wedge, who co-wrote “Boston Strong: A City’s Triumph Over Tragedy,” with crime writer Casey Sherman. “We are honored to have Mayor Walsh introduce readers to our story, and feel that his inspiring words set the perfect tone for the many tales of heroism and survival that we are so privileged to share.”

“Boston Strong,” set for release in January, gained some serious buzz before the authors even put pen to paper. Long before the release date was set, screenwriters Eric Johnson and Paul Tamasy, who wrote “The Fighter,” optioned the film rights to the book. The Hollywood heavyweights plan on turning it into a feature-length film fit for the big screen that could come out in the next five years.

Wedge, a former Boston Herald reporter who was on the ground the day the bombings occurred, said he’s had a strong working relationship with Walsh over the last 15 years, including the time the now-mayor served as a State Representative. Wedge said based on how Walsh helped guide the city through the first anniversary of the devastating attack, he felt the mayor would be the perfect person to introduce readers to the personal stories retold in the new book.

Wedge and Sherman shared the foreword written by Walsh in advance of the book’s official release date. The letter, which highlights Boston’s resilience in a time of sadness, can be read in full below. The January issue of Boston magazine will also include an excerpt from Wedge and Sherman’s retelling of the fatal attack that claimed three lives, and injured 260 others.

Marathon Monday is always one of the most remarkable days in Boston and has been for more than 100 years.

It’s a day when people from across the globe turn their eyes to our great city to watch the world’s elite runners compete in one of the most unique and challenging road races known to man. For Bostonians, it’s a rite of spring as millions emerge from winter hibernation, congregate along the race route to cheer on thousands of runners and celebrate the human spirit.

Terrorists tried to destroy our beloved tradition on April 15, 2013. They failed.

When I became mayor of Boston in January 2014, fulfilling a lifelong dream of mine, one of the first challenges of my administration was to organize and oversee the first anniversary events of the Boston Marathon bombings. It was a monumental task as I was thrust into the position of trying to calm fears of terrorism while leading the city through one of its most somber moments.

The stories that unfold in the pages ahead may at times be difficult to read. The bombings undeniably left a trail of wreckage in our city marked by immeasurable sadness, tragedy and heartbreak. The nation lost a little more of its innocence that day as well.

But there are also incredible tales of inspiration, hope, kindness and heroism. What happened in the days and months after those cowardly attacks was nothing short of miraculous and revealed the indomitable spirit of Boston and America.

Authors Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge spent countless hours over several months interviewing first responders, witnesses, survivors, family members of those who lost their lives and public officials. Their dedication, compassion and commitment was fueled by a desire to honor the victims and survivors.

Like Wedge and Sherman, I have met many of the survivors and victims’ families and shared in their grief. I came away inspired by their strength and bravery. After reading this book, you will too.

So many of them have shared in something so sad. But they chose not to quit and instead turned their tragedy into ways to inspire and help others. They’ve formed charities. They’ve supported one another. They’ve worked hard to rebuild their lives. They’ve learned how to find a new normal.

Through their loss, grief and sadness, they found ways to help others. They’ve been incredible models of love and kindness.

The city will never forget what happened that dark day – among the darkest in Boston’s long history. We will always honor those innocent people hurt and killed at the hands of cowards.

But the marathon will be stronger – it certainly was on the first anniversary of the bombings. I watched in amazement for hours as runners crossed the finish line on April 20, 2014, and knew that Boston would never be the same. But I also knew we would be better.

This city is resilient. This is our marathon and no one is going to take it away from us.

Boston is a proud city, a fiercely loyal city. When you hurt one of us, you hurt us all. When one of us gets knocked down, we help them up. We take care of our own.

We will not be held down. We will not be afraid. 

We are strong. We are Boston Strong.

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh