Strasbourg Runners Honor Boston Marathon Victims
Cloudy skies and light rain did nothing to dampen the spirits of nearly 10,000 participants in the annual “Courses de Strasbourg Europe” series of events the morning of Sunday, May 12. Everyone was up bright and early to test their athletic abilities and endurance in one of a number of races: 5 km, 10 km, and semi-marathon. But this year was a bit different from races of years past, because today’s event was dedicated to the City of Boston and the victims of the April 15th terrorist attack on the Boston Marathon.
Why, you ask? Because Boston and Strasbourg are sister cities, and have been for over 50 years, during which time many ties of friendship and cooperation in a number of fields have been developed. When word of the attack in Boston reached France, the city of Strasbourg was the first to react with messages of condolence and support. And with today’s show of solidarity, the people of Strasbourg continue to demonstrate they stand side-by-side with the people of Boston and America.
Many of the runners wore “Honor Boston” tee-shirts or stickers. The city of Boston was represented in the semi-marathon by runner Elisabeth Duclos-Orsello, who thanked the crowd of over 2,400 for their support prior to the race. Mayor of Strasbourg Roland Ries and I both delivered brief remarks, and a minute of silence in honor of the victims was observed just before the starting gun was fired. The City of Strasbourg has committed to contribute one euro to Boston for each person who crosses the finish line, and l’Association Alsace Etats-Unis, led by its President Francis Hirn, was also soliciting contributions for Boston from race participants at the finish line.
I wish to thank the City of Strasbourg, l’Association Alsace Etats-Unis, the race organizers, all the participants, and all the people of Strasbourg for their continued support and friendship. Merci beaucoup!!!!
Consul General’s Remarks at Start of Strasbourg Semi-Marathon, May 12, 2013:
Good morning! On behalf of the Ambassador of the United States of America in Paris, the government and people of the United States, the City and citizens of Boston, and, above all, the victims of the April 15 attack and their families, I’d like to say one thing: thank you very much.
Immediately following the shocking and terrible attack of April 15, in France it was you, the city and people of Strasbourg, who reacted first with messages of condolence and support for the people of your sister city. Today, with this touching and strong gesture of solidarity, you continue to show that you stand side-by-side with the people of Boston and America.
To all the participants in today’s events, and to all the people of Strasbourg, when things become difficult, remember the words of President Obama: together “Yes We Can!” Together, you can finish this race today, and together we can triumph over the forces of violence and intolerance. Thank you again for your support to the victims of Boston and to America. Good luck!!
Evan G. Reade
Deputy Permanent Observer to the Council of Europe