Two bombs exploded about 15 seconds and 550 feet apart on Monday, April 15 at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring at least 140 people.
The marathon, along with an 11:05 a.m. Red Sox home start, are traditions each year on Patriots’ Day in Boston—a day that commemorates the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord.
People from around the United States and the world come to Boston to both participate in and watch the marathon each year.
Some ENC students attended the marathon to watch runners as they crossed the finish line.
Freshmen Dana Day and Kristen Farley were within 50 feet of the first bomb that exploded and were led out of a back door of the marathon shop.
“Hey friends. I just wanted to tell everybody that I am okay,” shared Day on Facebook.
“I saw a lot of bad things but I was able to get back to my college. I hope that everyone injured from the explosion recovers quickly. I cannot believe how lucky Kristen Farley and I were,” she wrote.
Angela Valerio and Emily Ansel were also close to the finish line, only about a block away from the bombings.
“We were extremely close just across the street from where the building was just mere minutes before it happened,” said Ansel. “Then, we decided to go down an ally and walk parallel to the race to try and get closer to the finish line.”
She added, “We were walking behind the building that was located directly behind the risers at the finish when we heard the first explosion.”
The two did not see the bombings or the aftermath directly, but witnessed mass amounts of people running past them and shouting about there being bombs.
After seeing video and pictures of the bombings, Ansel and Valerio realized they could see the spot they were standing in before trying to get closer to the finish line.
“If we hadn’t left the spot where we were watching, or if we had made it to the other side of the finish line, we would have either had a clear view of the explosion or we may have been hurt by it,” said Valerio.
When they saw that police officers were starting to clear the area, they walked through the South End and got to Boston Medical Center where they were picked up by a friend and brought back safely to ENC.
“My roommate and I realized how truly God was intervening in our lives today to watch over and protect us. It was really a scary experience,” said Valerio.
Added Ansel, “When we replayed our actions we realized it was a divine act of God that we did not end up standing right next to the finish line or still standing across the street witnessing the whole thing. God is good and had his hedge of protection over us. A lot could have gone differently and ended very badly.”
Men’s tennis head coach Cristian Popa ran in the Boston Marathon and finished in about 2:58:05, finishing more than an hour before the explosions.
Shortly after the bombings, a group of ENC students began preparations for a Boston Marathon Prayer Service at 9:30 p.m. in Spange Lounge.
About 100 students gathered together for prayer, worship, and support in a time of great reflection.
Toward the end, students split into prayer groups in which “each group got to pray and talk with each other about their struggles and thoughts about the events,” said junior Taylor Fleming, who helped plan the service.
The prayer vigil lasted past 11 p.m.
“ENC really came together as a community tonight. In less than 5 hours, we were able to organize an event that allowed at least 100 people to come together in a service that gave us the community we needed to process today’s events, mourn the lives lost, defeat the fear today created, and celebrate that every member of the ENC community who went into Boston today came home safely,” said Fleming.
There are no classes being held at ENC on Tuesday, April 16 because of an already-scheduled reading day for the Academic Symposium and faculty development.