Fenway’s Faithful Return Battered But Not Broken

Boston University students Amelia Cochin, Jackie Mahedy and Holy Cross student Mike Galantini react from Fenway Park after the events of the previous week


A man reached out from the stream of people making the trek from Kenmore Station to Fenway Park Saturday morning to shake the hand of a military police officer standing guard.

“God bless you,” he said meaningfully.

The Boston Red Sox would play a game against the Kansas City Royals beginning at 1 p.m. The three-game series against the Royals was supposed to begin Friday night, but the game was postponed while the city was in lockdown mode as a manhunt for the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings ensued.

Boston rejoiced after that suspect, Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, was arrested in Watertown just before 9 p.m. Friday.

As Kenmore Square awoke Saturday morning there was a feeling of calm amid significantly heightened security.

Boston University students Ameila Cochin and Jackie Mahedy reflected on the week as they sipped iced coffee outside of Dunkin Donuts.

“I’m definitely relieved,” Mahedy, 19, from Wyckoff, N.J. said. “It’s cool seeing people out and about. It’s a little surreal.”

Cochin, 19, from Newton, said the visible police, K-9 units, security detail and armed guards who have descended on the Fenway area soothe her after a harrowing week.

“There’s clearly a large police presence still,” Cochin said. “It’s nice to see. I think they’re here to make people feel more safe and secure.”

The mood about law enforcement changed over night, according to two men smoking a cigarette and cigar outside of Game On! on Brookline Avenue.

One of those men, Jose Garcia, was visiting from his hometown of Bethlehem, Pa. After being glued to a television set in his hotel room like everyone else Friday night, he said he was proud to attend Saturday’s game.

“Obviously you’ve got to thank the police,” he said. “Everyone was unified. Next time [terrorists] want to do something like this, don’t pick Boston.”

Others were cynical following the fear, panic and loss of life the Boston populace dealt with this week. Retired law enforcement officer Warren Emerson said just because police caught Tsarnaev does not mean this is over.

“Some knucklehead somewhere wants to one-up it,” he said.

Emerson, from Hollywood, Fla., had been in Boston on vacation since Tuesday. As he waited to get into Fenway Park on its 101st birthday, he said Americans have to continue to be vigilant.

“Other people out there want greater harm to come to us, it’s a fact,” he said.

Still, in a way, it was just another late-April Sox game. Sausage vendors were hawking sausages, street drummers were slamming their drums, and young people with tickets were taking it all in.

Mike Galantini, a Holy Cross student from Scranton, Pa., wore a sleeveless red T-shirt with a bald eagle colored like the American Flag. He was in a group of friends just outside a Landsdowne Street gate.

He’s a broad man, standing over 6 feet tall with a wide build. He was the picture of local and national American unity.

“I definitely feel safer, and I think today’s going to be one heck of a game because of it,” he said. “Everybody’s going to be in a patriotic spirit and it’s going to be some good baseball.”

Though no one will soon forget the tragedy that ensued between April 15, 2013 and April 19, 2013 in Boston, skeptical Red Sox fans are still skeptical Red Sox fans on game day.

“If the Sox don’t beat the Royals though…” Galantini said shaking his head.

South End Patch