Mosie Duhe, LSOE ’14, spent the beginning of Monday, April 15 in class, complaining about wanting to be in Boston for one of the happiest days of the year. For the first time this semester, Prague was warm and sunny, and a group of Boston College students studying abroad in the European city decided to spend the day together while thinking about all the fun their friends were having in Boston.
A day that should have been happy quickly turned tragic as news started to spread of the horrible events that were unfolding in Boston.
“Even though we knew Boston was filled with chaos and fear, all we wanted was to be there, helping and supporting the community we had been desperately missing even before these devastating events had unfolded,” Duhe said.
Using social media and the Internet to connect with Boston, the students tried to absorb the confusing news. After checking in with friends and family in Boston and learning that they were ok, the BC students tried to think of a way to turn their feelings of helplessness into something productive.
“The idea that there was nothing we could do from Prague was horrible and defeating,” Duhe said. “So we prayed and we reflected and we kept up with everything online, but that wasn’t satisfying. We needed to do something.”
While reflecting on their bucket list of things they wanted to before leaving Prague, Duhe, along with fellow BC student Madeline Miller, CSON ’14, realized one of those items could be their way of showing their thoughts for Boston: Painting the Lennon Wall.
“We chose the wall because it has a lot of history in Prague and represented a safe place for victims of communism to freely express their thoughts,” Miller said. “This safe haven for them mirrored how we feel about BC and Boston. The safety the school offers us.”
The Lennon Wall in Prague is an ordinary wall that over many years has been covered in graffiti, including lyrics from Beatles songs. It is now a symbol of international love and peace. Duhe said the wall represents everything that the Boston Marathon was about. The BC students decided to choose a line from BC’s fight song to commemorate this feeling of unity.
“We chose to write ‘For here all are one,’ because these words not only stand for our BC pride, but also embody the strength in love and community that emerges in the wake of a tragedy like this one,” Duhe said.
“Every time you look at the Lennon Wall, something is different,” Miller said. “However, the wall always represents the same idea of freedom.”
Duhe said that she saw tourists today from all over the world stopping by the wall and taking pictures in front of the words they painted. She said it stands as a reminder that we are all part of a community that is stronger than hate and terror. Miller added that she hopes the words will serve as a reminder that we are all one.
“Our little community over here might be detached from BC, but we are a community nonetheless and we are Eagles whether we are in Chestnut Hill or anywhere else in the world,” Duhe said.
The other BC students involved include Amanda Gallagher, Eileen O’Malley, Tony Boswell, and Meghan Gilfillan.