Visit the official Watertown, Massachusetts website HERE.
At my brother’s wedding in 1984, everyone told me what a wonderful and exceptional person my brother was. Prior to that day, I thought of my brother as just a great brother. After the wedding, I knew that I had an exceptional brother, and a wonderful family that I had never “seen” before.
After a stressful 2000 missions trip to Haiti and the horrific 9/11 attacks, I realized my appreciation for my country. I hadn’t realized this before, and didn’t have a clue about the depths of my love for the USA.
After the 2013 Marathon bombings, I felt a great sadness and grieving for Boston, our little big city. It’s a historic city, a “walkable” city, and a really great city. With all its colleges and universities, it is a young city, and a city full of the promises of possibility. My precious Boston had been wounded.
After the gunshots and bombs in Watertown on April 18th and 19th (2013), I became aware of my appreciation for this town, where I have lived all of my life.
I was born and raised here, and I continue to live in Watertown. I attended the Citizens Police Academy training here, fought for “one side of the street” parking and co-wrote the official song for the Town of Watertown: “Our Town”. It is home, in every sense of the word.
Yet after a lifetime of experiences, I never knew how much I loved this place. I just took it for granted.
- You can safely walk the streets at night.
- There is no overnight parking on the streets in the winter.
- It’s just outside the Boston borders, yet there is a “small town feel”, with our parades, fairs, and town government.
- They open Town meetings with “This is the city known as the town of Watertown”.
Today, the day after the end of the “shelter in place” restrictions of the Marathon Bombing Crisis, I realize how much I love and appreciate our town. Walking to Dunkin Donuts and passing the Town Diner, I started to get emotional. That freedom to leave the house and buy a cup of coffee, we take it for granted every day.
Everyone was a little kinder today. I was smiling in that knowing way, and they were smiling back. There were no police, FBI, swat teams, Blackhawk helicopters, and very little media. There were no armed police patrolling my property. There was no silence in the things of everyday life.
Sadly, I can already sense that this awareness is fading, but that’s life in the 21st century. So while I can still feel the exhilaration of freedom, appreciation and love, I say thank you:
- To all of our first responders (we do appreciate you)
- To our government officials entrusted with the public welfare
- The all of the behind the scenes people, working on processing information
- To the media, striving for the balance of reporting with integrity, working within restrictions, minimizing public fears, and stressing the real dangers
- To everyone who participated, provided tips, cooperation, and were obedient.
- And to the townspeople who gratefully and enthusiastically cheered the exhausted forces who had worked so diligently to restore public safety and security. Hearing those cheers last night brought chills.
Boston is a “mighty” great city, but Our Town is just too wonderful for words today.
By Linda Picceri & Gail Dorey
I grew up in a town
When life was simple and folks were bound
To welcome you no matter where you’d go
Just an ordinary place
Everybody knew your face
And stopped to take the time to say hello
Somewhere inside the past
I learned a love for the ties that last
In the friendship and the memories
Of the people that I knew
In our town
Small town girls and small town boys
With city dreams and city toys
And families working hard to make ends meet
That’s how it is today
Things have changed since yesterday
But that hometown feeling lives on in the streets
What does it mean to be a part of a community
To share a common value
And a pride for who we are
In our town
For almost twenty years
I hit the road for my career
Didn’t know if I could come back to my town
Did I stay away too long
Could I still belong
Would I make it there a second time around
Going home is hard to do
When life has taken it all from you
But I found a new direction
And an old familiar faith
In our town