In the closing moments of yesterday’s Boston Marathon, one military veteran made sure to show us what patriotism and true sportsmanship is really about. The single incident, in which he carried a woman, is replaying over and over across social media as footage of the inspiring moment is watched again and again, but this stunning event just got even more shocking after viewers took a closer look at the veteran.
Earl Granville is a nine-year-veteran under the Pennsylvania Army National Guard who served overseas in Afghanistan in 2008. Granville has since enjoyed participating in multiple marathons, including Boston, Chicago, Detroit, and New York, but thanks to an injury, he had to use a “hand bike.”
However, this time was different. Granville was determined to complete the Boston Marathon all on his own. Not only that, he ended up carrying a woman across the finish line too. He’s become the real definition of “Boston strong,” a term coined after the bombing at the marathon by Islamic extremists in 2013.
Granville’s participation in the Boston Marathon was limited to walking because of his injury. Yet still, during his “run,” bystanders kept coming up to him for hugs and thanked him. “I don’t know what they’re inspired about,” Granville said in a Facebook Live broadcast at mile 16. “I’m walking.” However, his finishing move left no doubt why he’s seen as an inspiration.
According to WCVB5, a local new outlet, many took to social media to congratulate the veteran, especially after seeing the American flag and woman he carried across the finish line weren’t all to the story. “Thanks to Earl Granville for showing the Boston Marathon what veterans of the Pennsylvania National Guard can do,” Pennsylvania Wounded Warriors said on Facebook.
When looking lower, viewers noticed that Granville has a prosthetic leg. He had his leg blown off during his service in Afghanistan. So, not only did he carry a woman and an American flag across the finish line, he did so with only one leg.
According to Fox61, the woman was said to be Granville’s guide and he likely carried her to prove that the impossible is always possible. He completed the marathon without the use of his hand bike and he did so while carrying another person and the flag to show his patriotism and strength after the tragedy of losing a limb serving the country. He’s truly an inspiration, and the cheers he got proved he’s dome something incredible.
This inspirational video is rightly on it’s way to going viral. Granville gave his all, including his leg, in service to the country and was able to show us all that he refuses to be held back by such a devastating injury which later became a disability.
It often doesn’t take much for one person to make a difference. Just completing the marathon has made a difference in not only Granville’s life but all those who were fortunate enough to witness this event got a dose of motivation. And now, those who couldn’t be there can relive this incredible moment by video. Granville has proven that the only limits in front of you are those you place on yourself, and his willingness to succeed in spite of the hand he’s been dealt is still radiating outward and making a difference in the hearts of Americans. Earl Granville completely embodies the term “Boston strong.”