A most powerful phrase emerged from the unlikeliest of sources.
“Boston Strong,” a term that would come to embody the city’s amazing strength and resolve in the wake of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, had an interesting place of origin, according to WEEI’s Rob Bradford.
While “Boston Strong” began to gain traction after a pair of Emerson College designed T-shirts featuring the phrase, the term made its first appearance on Twitter from the account of a man named Curtis Clough. Check out the original tweet below.
Clough, who sent the tweet less than an hour after the bombing (3:38 p.m. ET), lives in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio and hasn’t visited Boston since 1976.
To say that the 46-year-old school superintendent has no connection to the city of Boston, however, is inaccurate.
Clough says his inspiration to add the phrase came from his father, who often traveled to New England as truck and tractor salesman and would talk about the people he met in Boston.
“It was something my dad had always said along the way with his dealings with the Boston people and the salesmen,” Clough told WEEI. “It was always Boston Strong this, and Boston Strong that. I remember that from my dad, and it just seemed to fit in that situation. That’s why I put the tweet out. My dad just used to tell me all the time. It just seemed like it fit.”
Now, Clough is happy he did. #BostonStrong has been used as a hashtag over 1.5 million times since last April and continues to serve as a rallying cry and source of inspiration for those affected in the attack.