What happened at the Boston Marathon last April was
a horrible tragedy. As the next marathon approaches, I want to
reflect on what has happened since that fateful day and recognize
the inspiring people who have run "the marathon between marathons"
along the road to recovery.
Who are these people? First and foremost, they are the survivors
who have been working hard and retraining every day to overcome
their injuries. Some are teaching themselves to walk again. Some
are learning to see, hear and feel again. Some are fighting unseen
injuries, such as traumatic brain injury (TBI). Almost all of them
are learning what a new normal feels like.
There have been many others who have run this race with
Family members, friends and medical providers have been no less
inspiring as they have stood side by side with the survivors
throughout the often difficult journey through rehabilitation. The
members of the public who donated so generously and continue to
give financial aid for victims and their families long after the
marathon also deserve our gratitude.
I am most proud of how the Massachusetts Bar Association has
supported the survivors throughout the days, weeks and months that
followed the blasts. Nearly 90 volunteers have donated their time,
resources and expertise to help survivors through our Marathon
Bombing Victims Legal Assistance Program.
Members of our legal community volunteered during the MBA's two
special Dial-A-Lawyer programs immediately after the bombings. They
also provided more lasting assistance through pro bono efforts that
benefitted 25 individuals injured in the blasts. In addition to
filling out One Fund applications, many of our attorneys have
continued help their clients with related legal and non-legal
matters, including disability, employment, benefits and housing
issues, just to name a few.
Thank you to everyone who volunteered to help others through our
program. As I've always said, it speaks a lot to the character of
our profession that attorneys are the ones there to help long after
a tragedy occurs and long after support from others has
Last year's marathon is over, and a new race is about to be run.
Yet many marathon bombing survivors still face a long road ahead.
Some may never cross the finish line in their quest for a full
recovery. The MBA will not leave them.
Our marathon -- our commitment to help people impacted by the
bombings -- will never end as long as there are those who need
This is a preview of MBA President Douglas K. Sheff's
April Lawyers Journal column. For more information about
the MBA's response after the 2013 Boston Marathon, look for the "We
Remember . . . Boston Marathon 2013" special feature in the April
Mass. Bar Association President Douglas K. Sheff talks about why
funding for courts and legal aid programs is a fairness issue, not
just a lawyer issue. Click here for more on how you can help support
the call for court/legal aid funding through our "12 for 12"