BOSTON -- For fans, players and political leaders who celebrated the Red Sox's World Series title with cries of "Boston Strong," the championship provided a jubilant finish to a season that was shadowed nearly from the start by the April bombings at the Boston Marathon.
The morning after he cheered the victory inside Fenway Park, Ed Carlson returned Thursday to the marathon finish line he had crossed months earlier, 20 minutes before the bombs went off, and then had scrambled to find his children in the ensuing chaos.
"It was quite a year," said Carlson, 51, of Princeton, Mass. "To be at the marathon and then to be there for the World Series -- I still tear up thinking about it."
The success of the Red Sox, who finished last in their division only a year ago, became a welcome surprise and eventually a symbol of resilience for a city recovering from the twin bombings that killed three people and wounded more than 260.
Jarrod Clowery, a carpenter from Stoneham, Mass., who suffered severe burn and shrapnel injuries in the April 15 bombings, said he was inspired by the Red Sox.
"No one gave them a chance after that season last year... but they started growing those beards, they became a unit, and they turned around and won a World Series," said Clowery, who has three friends who lost limbs in the blast. "I'm proud of those guys and happy for those guys."
On Wednesday night, after the Red Sox defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 6, thousands of fans clogged the streets around the finish line. It was a quieter scene Thursday morning as traffic sped over the blue and yellow line painted permanently on Boylston Street and people stopped on the sidewalk to offer a solemn tribute.
Carlson, who was taking in the scene with his 17-year-old daughter, wore a new Red Sox World Series Champions baseball hat along with the same blue and yellow marathon jacket he wore to every Sox game he attended over the season. At Wednesday night's game, he had his marathon medal in his pocket.
"It put some finality to the whole thing," he said. His daughter, Maggie, still remembers the fear she felt the day of the bombing.
"We were torn apart by this," she said. "And we were able to come back and win the World Series. It just shows how resilient we are."
-- The Associated Press