Running 26 miles is nothing in this city

This Monday will be the 113th Boston Marathon, a holiday so important to Greater Boston that we celebrate it by reenacting the battles of Lexington and Concord. Here at Tufts, this seems like a good time to celebrate our own track team.

My favorite part of Patriots' Day isn't actually the marathon at all, but in the commemoration of Samuel Whittemore, an 80-year-old farmer. On April 17, 1775, Whittemore engaged a small troop of British soldiers. He was shot, bayoneted, and left for dead, not 2 miles from here -- but recovered, and lived for another 18 years, dying at the age of 98. And can I tell you how Samuel Whittemore survived? His wounds were treated by a Doctor Tufts, a relative of Tufts University's founder, Charles Tufts. May we all be so resilient as Samuel Whittemore.