Editor’s note: Dan Kennedy is an assis­tant pro­fessor of jour­nalism at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity in Boston and the author of the forth­coming book “The Wired City: Reimag­ining Jour­nalism and Civic Life in the Post-​​Newspaper Age” (Uni­ver­sity of Mass­a­chu­setts). He blogs at Media Nation.

I was going through my Twitter feed Monday morning when I came across this: “Happy greatest day of the year, #Boston!” And so it is. Or was, until about 2:50 p.m., when explo­sions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon trans­formed a cel­e­bra­tion into a scene of carnage.

What mat­ters now, need­less to say, are the vic­tims — the dead, the injured and their fam­i­lies and friends. But if you are looking for some insight into Boston at this hor­rible moment, it helps to under­stand why our marathon mat­ters and where it fits into our civic psyche. Why it was, until Monday, our greatest day of the year.

Read the article at CNN →