One week. Just seven days.
A week I don’t think I’ll ever forget.
In Boston, the 3rd Monday in April celebrates Patriots’ Day… and the running of the Boston Marathon. This year, on April 15th, runners gathered for the 26.2 mile journey of a lifetime. Family, friends and supporters lined the route from beginning to end with a large contingency gathered at the finish line on Boylston Street.
This year, at 2:50pm, everything changed. Just as the bulk of the non-elite runners were expected to cross the finish line… as their families and friends and unknown revealers packed the bleachers and lined the sidewalks… it happened. A bomb went off in the crowd and lives changed. Ten seconds later, another bomb went off and lives changed. Not just the lives of the three people killed, the runners, the people who were there celebrating the accomplishments of these amazing athletes, but for everyone in this great city… the great state of Massachusetts… heck everyone with a television who stared in disbelief as horrific scenes played out live right in front of them.
I can’t bring myself to post photos of the attacks or the mayhem… a google image search can bring them to you. The Boston Globe did a wonderful job of presenting photos in a compelling and respectful way. They have given free access to everyone until 4/22. You can view them here.
The bombers went unidentified until Thursday when the FBI posted video still photos of two young men wearing baseball hats and carrying backpacks. Their identities were soon known and the manhunt went from 7 to 10. Thursday night brought about more bloodshed in the shooting death of a beloved MIT officer ambushed in his squad car, a transit officer critically injured by gunshots, a carjacking and hostage taking at a convenience store and a shoot out between the bombers and police culminating in the death of bomber #1 who succumbed to injuries received when his little brother (bomber #2) drove over him, dragging his bullet riddled body down the street after throwing more bombs at the police. Bomber #2 got away.
Friday saw the city of Boston and many surrounding towns put in lockdown. Seriously… locked the F down! Businesses were closed. The MBTA, Amtrak and commuter trains/boats were shut down. One word… Creepy. No signs of life… except for the Boston Police, FBI, Homeland Security, armored trucks, semi-automatic weapons… and the media. The media were EVERYWHERE. I must say, they did a fantastic job keeping everyone up to speed with real time coverage and accurate information.
My television was on from 6:00am until I went to bed. At approximately 8:30pm on Friday evening, bomber #2 was captured. He had been hiding out in a boat stored in a Watertown backyard. Bomber #2 is currently in custody at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center under heavy guard with injuries that are said could possibly leave him without the ability to speak. So many questions still to be answered.
Saturday morning gave way to rain, which I found quite fitting. The lockdown had been lifted, the MBTA was back up and running and I had my French class just a couple of blocks from the site of the deadly bombings. It was very quiet. There were people out and about, but not like a usual Saturday in Boston proper. The police presence was very heavy, with armored trucks stationed around Boston Common and officers throughout the Public Garden. It was so heartwarming to see people thanking the police officers for all their hard work and the impromptu declarations of thanks and peace along my walk to and from class.
My heart goes out to the victims of this senseless tragedy… Martin Richards (8), Lu Lingzi (23), Krystle Campbell (29) and MIT officer Sean Collier (26). You, the surviving victims and your loved ones are in my thoughts and prayers. You will not be forgotten.
A charity has been established to help the people most affected by the Boston Marathon tragedy, the One Fund Boston, Inc. For information, please visit onefundboston.org