Remarks by Dr. Peter Burke at the BMC Strong Flag Raising Ceremony

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Dear friends, we are gathered here today on the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing to remember and give voice to a number of things;  among them to the reality that there is evil in the world we live in and in that acknowledgment we stand in balance against it .  And to the fact that some among us have paid a terrible price to the events of April the 15th. We honor them, we will not forget their unasked for sacrifice.

I am proud to count myself as part of the BMC community that responded so magnificently. From those at the scene, our partners Boston EMS who did such an outstanding job, to every member of the BMC family from administrators to transporters, nurses, doctors, lab techs and scrub techs, pastoral care, patient advocates, social workers and security to name but a few who, to a person, responded without hesitation bringing all of their collective talents and experience to focus on the injured. And we did well! With skill and hard work and the overwhelming courage and tenacity of our patients, everyone survived (it was a near thing for some) and made it to the next step with the spirit to continue on. We should be proud. That day and during the following weeks we truly provided exceptional care. 

But we at BMC more than others see on a daily basis victims of violence, lives and families forever altered and we better than most understand the true human cost of violence to our society. If you are unaware of this cost or of the exceptional commitment of this institution to help, go talk to Project Assert in the ER or the trauma service’s community violence response team. I assure you, you will be impressed and prouder of where you work.

While we have always strive to provide exceptional care, our response to the bombing revealed to me a new standard of what exceptional care can mean. Going forward we must strive for this new standard for all our patients. The good that we can do going forward will help the balance in some small way and perhaps give some meaning to that unasked for sacrifice. It is a great honor to work here with all of you and I thank you for the privilege.

 – Peter Burke, MD, FACS, Chief of Trauma Surgery 

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