At the end of this story, you’ll be standing up and applauding. Applauding at the wonder of the human spirit.
You’ll well up, too. What will get you is how, when it all shakes out, people are inherently good and are willing to sacrifice a little of their own comfort for others.
This is the story of veteran Army Staff Sgt. Earl Granville. Granville served his country for nine years before losing part of his leg in Afghanistan.
It would have been easy for Granville to settle into a chair at home and bemoan his new position in life. That wasn’t who he is though.
Granville got up and got out. And he got running.
Since the 2008 explosion which ended his military career, Granville has run in marathons in New York, Boston, Chicago, and Detroit. In each race, he completed the course with the “aid” of a hand-bike.
He returned to Boston this year. But the hand bike did not.
Granville just completed the Boston Marathon. And he did it in an awe-inspiring way.
Granville did not cross the finish line alone. He carried a young woman across his shoulders as she tightly held the American flag.
The woman was his partner and guide during the race. It is not uncommon for some runners to have a guide with them during their run.
Although the two had only known each other a short while, at the end the two runners became one. Granville carried her to the end to make a statement.
He wanted to honor all of those who have made a sacrifice. For many, it was an inspiring, symbolic moment.
On his Facebook page, Granville took it all humbly in stride. “So, apparently I did something today,” he wrote. “Thank you everybody for your support. I’ll post more during this week…but until then, once again, thanks for all the encouragement. I’m so very grateful.”
Actually, we’re the grateful ones. For your service. Your sacrifice. And for your selfless reminder about the importance of remembering and taking care of each other.