the bleachers in Fenway Park, a good brawl over a contested parking space. . . . [The terrorists]messed with the wrong city.” The aftermath of these horrible events made me feel moreconnected to Loudonville as well. I realized that
isn’t about size. Boston is just asmuch a community as Loudonville: places where good people live and
for each other.
For the entire duration of my time in Boston, I have worked at MIT. My office is just a fewblocks from where Sean Collier, a campus police officer, was killed by the bombing suspects.When I attended Officer Collier’s memorial service, something the university president saidreally hit home to me. He said, even though Officer Collier was employed for a little over a yearon campus, Sean “didn't have a job at MIT, he had a life at MIT.” It was his
. He didn’t just protect the campus during his work hours, he also befriended students, helped them withtheir problems, and became active in campus clubs and attended its events.
Class of 2013, whether you choose to stay in Loudonville or become members of a newcommunity—whether it be a university community, the military, or another community, like SeanCollier, I encourage you to embrace and support your fellow peers, no matter how similar ordifferent they are from you. And most importantly,
from them. You don’t have to agree withthem, but
from them. As Ani Difranco sings (and Ani was big in the ‘90s—music that oldpeople like me think is cool, so bear with me; she sings,) “I know there is strength in thedifferences between us. I know there is comfort, where we overlap.” Officer Collier witnessedthis every day on the MIT campus, where students from many races, ethnicities, andbackgrounds come to study. In their home countries, police can be brutal and corrupt. They arenot necessarily your friend. But Sean, by becoming involved in the student culture, sought togain the students’ trust, no matter where they were from. He
from them. As a result,they accepted him warmly into the MIT community.