Cambridge Heals Together

Cambridge Heals Together

On Sunday, April 28 I attended the CRLSstrong gathering for Cambridge Rindge and Latin School students, alumni and other community members.

On Sunday, April 28 I attended the CRLSstrong gathering for Cambridge Rindge and Latin School students, alumni and other community members. According to organizers, the event was held in honor of the CRLS school motto: Opportunity, Diversity, Respect, and sought to provide “a safe and open space” for the community to reflect on the Boston Marathon attack and the subsequent unfolding of events.

As the gathering date approached, I kept trying to decide how to handle this story. I didn’t want to intrude on any individual’s grief in any way, yet I wanted to capture the power of this gathering.

I knew I needed to do SOMETHING; I’ve been feeling traumatized since the Marathon bombing and the subsequent events, and yet feeling somehow guilty for being so traumatized because I don’t know anyone who was killed or injured in the event and I wasn’t there on April 15. It dawned on me, based on my experience of having family in and having spent time in Belfast, Northern Ireland, that I am experiencing survivor guilt. I feel sorrow and empathy for those who were directly impacted, thankful that I wasn't, and guilty for feeling that way.

The majority of the time at the gathering was informal, with people connecting with friends and colleagues, hugging each other, and putting on Cambridge Strong/#CRLSstrong bracelets and t-shirts.

The speakers included two CRLS graduates and event organizers – Samuel Gebru and Matthew Yalouris - Brian Corr, the Executive Director of the Cambridge Peace Commission, and the current CRLS student body president. Key messages from the speakers included:
- The motto of CRLS is Opportunity, Diversity, Respect and the CRLS community continues to live by those principles
- Our community comes together to heal instead of remaining isolated to process recent traumatic events
- We have all been traumatized and we should recognize that and be especially kind to ourselves and to others right now
- This is a beginning event and there will be more to come

I left the event feeling better than when I arrived, thankful for the connectedness of our community, and impressed by the compassion and strength of the CRLS alumni, students, and teachers.

For more information on the rally, visit the CRLSstrong Facebook page or on Twitter at #CRLSstrong. There will be future events in coming months.

Did you attend the event? What was your experience?