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Close to home; Boston attack felt in Bolton.


A family friend painted a touching portrait of a Bolton family whose trip to Boston Monday was fateful.

"When you think of the typical American family, it is them," said Benjamin Coutu of Fitchburg. "They wear red, white and blue sweaters on July 4th. ... Why do they go to the Esplanade on the Fourth of July? Because that is what you do on the Fourth of July. Why did they go to the marathon on Monday? Because that is what you do on Patriot's Day."

That the White family was so badly harmed doing "what you do on Patriot's Day" is an illustration of the cruel randomness of mindless attacks such as Monday's. With three killed and more than 170 injured in the twin bombs at the Boston Marathon finish line, the Whites are among numerous illustrations of how swiftly things can change forever because of bad luck intersecting with murderous intention.

The father, William, has lost a leg. Wounds suffered by his wife, Mary Jo, and their son Kevin also required hospitalization.

Mr. Coutu is a former Lawrence Academy classmate of the other son, Andrew White, who was in Portland, Ore., Monday but rushed home to be with his parents and brother.

This awful attack that has gripped the world is marked by opposites and contrasts.

On a day celebrating the birth of freedom, bombs blew up in the heart of a city key to the American Revolution. And Marathon Monday - always full of unfettered celebration for the athleticism and drive fueling thousands of runners to the finish line - was this year particularly graced with good feelings and sunshine.

Copley Square is quite apart from the rural hillside setting of Mr. and Mrs. White's home in Bolton, where stone walls run along the landscape. But the pride and public spirit that was on display in Copley Square Monday flourishes quietly in the White family, too. William White is known around Bolton for contributions such as working to have flags hung along Main Street for patriotic holidays, and donating to the Bolton Public Library a 1904 map of Massachusetts, containing drawings of each town's library back then.

No bomb blast can erase dignity, connection, and a community's respect. In that sense, at least, the White family is beautifully intact.
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Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Geographic Code:1U1MA
Date:Apr 19, 2013
Next Article:So good; Sports fans root for what's right.

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