With the Boston Marathon being tomorrow, I thought it was time to share a little bit about the day of the marathon bombing and where I was.
Despite not being at the finish line, the amount of sheer terror I felt was nothing to joke about. On what was supposed to be another ordinary marathon Monday, well maybe a chaotic marathon Monday, I boarded the T with Rachel and her mom and headed into the city. They had a close family friend who was running in it and we were debating on going to the finish line to watch her cross or stand at Boston College, moments beyond Heartbreak Hill, to encourage her to continue running hard. We ended up choosing Boston College because I was obsessed with Boston College and wanted to stand there for at least part of the race. The plan was we would stay there until their friend ran by us and then meet her at the finish line. That time never came. She ran by us as we cheered and five minutes later somebody screamed. Now we had no idea what was happening and instinctively all three of us began searching for answers. We continued to pass more and more people scrambling around us and trying to use their cell phones. Fifteen minutes passed before we realized what had happened. Fifteen minutes may not be a long time, but when you have no idea what is going on around you and everyone else is panicking, you end up joining in. We ran into the nearest bar and watched as the news reports were beginning their breaking news coverage. From the bar, I learned that the bombs had gone off and that several people were injured. From the bar, I learned that the place I was supposed to be standing was a place covered in blood and debris.
Even though I was not at the finish line, I felt something. I felt the heartbreak of people around us and I felt the panic when I could not reach my mom because the cell service was down.
A few days later my family and I went to a Boston Bruins game. The game came after David Ortiz’ famous speech about how Boston is “our fucking city” and that no one can bring us down. The pregame ceremonies proceeded as usual, with an addition of a memorial video of those pronounced dead from the bombs. After this, Rene Rancourt began singing the National Anthem, and instead of the usual low hum from the fans in the rink, every voice was heard singing the National Anthem. Every voice was projecting throughout the rink, players and fans alike. This was the moment I knew Boston would be okay. The people are strong, and their passion and love towards their city is stronger. Now, four years since the marathon bombings, I am sitting in a college library waiting to see the highlights of tomorrow’s race.