Runners and spectators met on Boylston Street to partake in Boston’s biggest sporting event—the 117th annual Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. It was a beautiful spring day that turned terribly tragic in mere moments.
Around 2:50 PM, near the race′s finish line, the first bomb went off. About 12 seconds later and 100 yards down Boylston Street, a second bomb detonated. The Boston Marathon Bombing killed three people and injured over 250 more. For the graduating class at ENC, we not only lived through the bombing on our TV screens, we survived it.
On April 19, during the search for Tsarnaev, the entire city of Boston was “shut down.” Only emergency vehicles were allowed on the roads. Students on some local campuses were on lock down, while many students may have felt trapped due to the closing of public transportation.
Senior Heather Morley, who was visiting a friend in Watertown during the bombing’s aftermath, remembers the days vividly.
“Police came door to door and asked to search every home looking for the suspects. We were told to stay inside, lock all the doors and windows, and not to open the door for anyone,” Morley said.
Senior Lisabeth Almeida, who has been attending the races annually since she was a baby, recalls how scary it was for her family to find one another after the bombings.
“We go every year as one big family. We were all separated before the bombings, so trying to find one another was very difficult and scary, especially because all of the cell towers were down. I had family from other countries calling and making sure we were all okay because they know that going to the marathon is a tradition for us,” Almeida said.
Senior Frankie Bruny, a Boston native, recalls how she knew that things like bombings occur, but she never thought they’d occur in her own city.
“My mom called me crying, believing that I was at the marathon. I was super nervous because a lot of my family and friends live in the area, go to school in the area, and attended the marathon. I was super nervous all day, especially because my father works for the MBTA,” Bruny said.
Professor Zareh Artinian, who was working two blocks away from the bombings at Pearson publishing company, recalls being at his desk and hearing both explosions.
“Though the sounds were muffled, my first thought was that they were bombing the marathon,” Artinian said.
Both of Artinian’s sons had the week off of school during the bombings and were taking acting classes in the city. Artinian’s first thoughts were to race to get his sons, which meant crossing over Boylston Street; he recalls seeing crowds of National Guard and police patrols, and a line of ambulances up and down the streets.
“The entire situation was scary but my number one goal was to get my kids out of the city, and get them to safety,” Artinian said.
Although the bombings temporarily crippled the city, Bostonians and visitors alike quickly came together in a time of crisis to aid in every way possible. Three years and three marathons later, the pain of this day remains, though overshadowed by inspiring stories of the victims and their lives.
“Regardless of what the [terrorists] think they took away from the city, they didn’t. My family and I continue to go to the race every year and show support for our city. Our communities stuck together and continue to celebrate our Boston pride,”Almeida commented.
“We’ve come back stronger as a city and more unified than ever before. Boston has a fighting spirit that will never be taken away,” Morley said.
“We all took more pride in our great city. Boston was once a city where everyone did their own thing and stayed in their own lanes, but so many different people were affected by these bombings, and everyone came together to make things work,” Bruny said.
“This tragedy showed both the resiliency of Boston and the determination of its people. The police went after the suspects so quickly, shutting down the entire city to find them. We will not let evil-doers like this make us change how we live our lives. We can’t change our lives because of fear,” Artinian commented.