Marathon Day Memories

boston-strongTo commemorate the one-year anniversary of the marathon bombing, the staff members of The Dragon Flyer have posted their memories of that day and their thoughts today. We invite the entire Duxbury High School community to add their comments by responding to any or all of the following questions:

Where were you? How did you hear? What was your first reaction? One year later, what do you have to say?

As these are moderated comments, you will not immediately see your remarks.

I was about to watch a movie when my wife looked up from checking Facebook and said, “Something’s happening in Boston.” We checked news sources and contacted family members in the city that day. My sister-in-law worked a few blocks from the finish line, so she heard the explosions. My brother got her out of the city just before they closed the bridge. One year later, I still get angry and sad, but I’m amazed by the survivors and those that helped so many people that day. So many survivors say they were sure they would die from their injuries until a stranger stepped up to become a hero.

-Mark Brown

I was checking my Twitter account when I first found out about the bombing. At first I had no idea what was going on. I thought there had been a second 9/11 in Boston, that a building during the marathon had been bombed by a terrorist organization. I was stunned when I found out the actual details. I could not believe two young brothers had caused the bombing on purpose. It made me sick to my stomach that these boys purposely set off a bomb that killed 3 innocent people and injured hundreds of others. They killed innocent people with families, for what?

-Michelle M.

I was at home sitting in my sunroom when my dad texted my family and me about the bombings. My dad works in Boston on a street virtually parallel to the marathon finish line. I turned on the TV and was absolutely shocked to see two legitimate explosions happening virtually right in front of me. I was and still am repeatedly haunted with the fear that something could happen to my dad and everyone else that was there at the time, and I continuously think of the video clip of the old man falling as the bomb went off. My heart breaks for all those who were affected by the bombings, and I look up to those who rushed to help immediately. Runners who had just finished the marathon rushed to donate blood, and bystanders did everything they could to help people get the care and attention they needed. This day symbolized and reestablished what unity and love is and enforced what humanity stands for. For every bad person, there are millions of good, and I believe that was shown on this day one year ago. I have not yet forgotten the worry and fear that was instilled, and I know a part of each will always be with me. RIP to those lost and best wishes to those injured and affected.

-Maggie C.


I was on vacation in Florida with my friend and her family and was working out at the gym. While running on the treadmill, I looked up to see “Boston” in big letters on the T.V. screen. Since there was no volume, I had to read the subtitles notifying me of the horrific details. After checking my phone and seeing several missed calls from my mom and dad, who works in Boston in the vicinity of the bombings, I called my family to find out exactly what happened. My mom was distraught, making me anxious and nervous about the seriousness of the event. I was concerned that my cousins, frequent attendees of the Marathon, were at the finish and hurt; however, thankfully, they decided not to go that year. How could someone intentionally hurt the lives of thousands of innocent people after all of their hard work, training, and support? Believe it or not, there were people sick enough to do just that. The whole rest of the day was sorrowful and suspenseful; the news was on everywhere I went and the Boston Marathon Bombings was all people could talk about. I will never forget the cheering and celebration that occurred when one bomber was dead and the other was caught. Something was just so satisfactory of seeing a twisted person who damaged so many lives face their punishment and guilt. Currently, the Boston Marathon Bombing is still extremely raw in Massachusetts. So many victims who were incredible athletes are left without limbs, paralyzed, and have other traumatic injuries, in addition to the bystanders cheering them on. Still, there are numerous people recovering from the catastrophic event all because of two hateful people who decided to turn a beneficial event into something so wrong. My heart goes out to all of those who were affected by the bombing and their families. It angers me that the bomber who is still alive has not been tried. For hurting so many people, I believe that he deserves nothing less than the death penalty. Although the bombers committed an inexcusable act of immorality, Boston and the entire state of Massachusetts are strong and will overcome any hardships due to the bombings. The event proved that our police force and responders are skilled in their jobs and are willing to put their lives on the line to help others. May the victims and their families be at peace of mind and always remember “Boston Strong.”

-Olivia M.

I was picking something up from my grandmother’s house with my mom when I got a news alert text from 7 News. It said that there was an explosion at the marathon in Boston. I didn’t think anything of it and continued to chat with my grandmother. It wasn’t until my aunt texted us saying that there were bombs detonated and that people were really hurt. She also told us that my cousin was in Boston at a bar watching the marathon a block away from the second bomb. She was stuck in Boston with no cell phone service and everyone in my family was shocked. My mother still has PTSD from 9/11 since we did live in New York when that happened and she would constantly go to the World Trade Center for meetings and lost some friends. She was extremely distraught over these events and stayed home for days to watch the news and stay updated on everything. Once it was thought that the suspects were hiding out in that town in someone’s boat I was in New York. My dad and I were watching the news as we ate dinner at a restaurant. I started tearing up when all of the citizens were lined up on the streets cheering on the police and firefighters after they had caught one of the suspects. It really showed me that we can come together as a country in crisis, and it made me thankful to have people like the first responders and law enforcement to protect us in situations like this.

-Claire H.

I was on vacation on a small island in Mexico with my family. Initially, no one at the small hotel we were staying at was aware of what had happened because all of the news programs were in Spanish. There wasn’t much worry because no one even knew exactly what had happened. People were still laughing, tanning and enjoying their vacations. No one was phased by the bad news because no one on the island even knew that something so awful had happened in Boston.  But eventually the hotel staff was able to explain to us that a bomb had been detonated at the finish line of the Boston Marathon and that people were both hurt and dead. Personally, I didn’t really understand how bad the situation was at first. It felt like a dream since I was so far away from Boston. I don’t remember much besides staying in the lobby all night with my family to use the hotel wifi to look at the news online. As I read more and more articles about what had happened, I began to realize the seriousness of the situation. It was all over every major news site, CNN, NBC, etc. Unfortunately the wifi was really slow in the hotel, and it was hard to reload pages to find the most recent updates. That was probably the worst part, feeling so uninformed. I also remember seeing two girls and their mother sitting in the hotel lobby that night crying, trying to contact relatives in Boston. It was horrible to watch them desperately trying to reach their families. I don’t have any family living around Boston, but I can imagine how terrifying it would have been to be unable to contact relatives who lived there. Finding out about the bombing was one of the most shocking experiences of my life.

– Ashton B.


I was at home with my mom and my dad, our phone rang, and when I answered it was my brother Matt. He sounded panicked, which was very out of character for him. When we finally were able to calm him down, he told us two explosions had gone off at the marathon. He worked at State Street at the time and decided to take a break and walk out of his office to watch some of the marathon. I’ll never forget how simply scared he sounded; Boston had been our second home this was never suppose to happen. My dad grabbed his keys and drove to the city. When my brother got home he was as pale as a ghost. My dads brothers, Mike, and Tucker, are both Boston Police officers, so luckily they were there to keep an eye on my brother. My Uncle Mike later made it into the Boston Strong video at the Bruins game, writing “We are all Boston Strong” in chalk at the finish line, and my Uncle Tucker who also works for the FBI played a role in the capturing of the two terrorist’s in Watertown. It was a frightening couple of days, Boston was always home for my family, and home is always seen as safe. Through it all, however, Bostonians never lost hope. Boston is a “tough and resilient town, and so are its people” as Barack Obama said on the day of the bombing. A truth that all of those affected hold very dearly. To this day my brother refuses to talk about the bombings, saying that is exactly what the men who did this want and he refuses to give them the satisfaction. Instead he says, he’ll remain faithfully Boston Strong. I read the younger terrorists Twitter feed, filled with anti-American blurbs, and hate against our country. That day, when everything was still so fresh I became furious. One year later, the only question I find myself asking is why? Why come to our country if you hate it so much? Why become a citizen, or use our education system if you are against everything we stand for? Why hate?

-Monica D


My family was in Washington, D.C. for April break. I had allergies (sore throat, fatigue) and decided to catch up on my rest in the hotel until noon while the rest of my family went to a museum. I was pretty bored, and social media was pretty dead. I refreshed Twitter, but nothing new was coming up. Then I saw one promoted tweet from an account I didn’t follow. It was in all caps and mentioned Boston and a few other code words I didn’t understand. I ignored the tweet, resorting to television to keep me entertained. I was absently flipping through the stations when I saw breaking news on Fox, NBC, CNN–all the notable news stations. Breaking news has always captivated me; I like being the first to hear about information. But what was going on? Something was happening in Boston…oh yeah, the marathon is today, I thought. As I continued to watch, they showed a video of an explosion at the finish line of the race. A bomb had gone off. No one knew how many were injured but the numbers were high. No newscasters could yet report the death toll. This began to worry me–how bad was it? Who did it? Why? After checking Twitter again, I was bombarded with a flood of new tweets, all expressing my thoughts of confusion at the news. I proceeded to call my father at the museum and inform him of the news. He was surprised and confused–I remember hearing my sister ask “What’s going on?” in the background. She must’ve seen his reaction. They were near the White House at the time I called, and he said that it made sense now. Around the time I called him, many cars were pulling into the White House and apparently it looked like a lot of chaos going on there. I still remember how crazy Twitter was that night. Since Boston is our capital city, everyone felt personally assaulted. Although the horrific day was an act of terrorism against America as a whole, I believed it sparked a renewed sense of nationalism–a feeling that has not been evident in our country for many years. We brought new meaning to the word “United” as many of us donated blood and money to the victims. Although the incident can never be requited, I am very proud of the way our country handled it: capturing those responsible as fast as they possibly could and coming together in love and sympathy.

-Celia B.


I was on a college tour of the University of Alabama and heading to a meeting with a department head when one of my friends who was there at the time texted me saying bombs had gone off at the Boston Marathon. Shocked, I told the news to my family who were skeptical of what really happened and wanted to learn more before jumping to conclusions. When we got to our appointment, the department head had his TV turned on to the news, and they were covering the marathon and what had just happened. We told him we were from there and ended up staying there for over an hour just watching the footage before heading back to our hotel to watch the rest. The night they captured the guy, we were driving home all updating Twitter and texting our friends who were watching the news. My dad’s family is from Watertown, and many of them still live there now. Worried, we got off the highway and stopped at a Hampton inn and sat in the lobby watching the TV coverage on the news until he was caught before heading back home. Now I think back on it and realize how devastating it truly was, but overall I feel it has pulled our city together to be more united and proud so I think that to be able to have a positive outlook and outcome of something so terrible is important especially for those who lost their lives, family members, or were injured.

-Beni D.


I was on my couch watching ESPN when news of the marathon bombing appeared on the screen. I was shocked, and I immediately went upstairs to find my parents. After the initial confusion, my parents and I became worried about my older brother who lives in Boston. There was a possibility that he had decided to attend so we began to call him. After a while he responded to our relief and told us that he had gone to try to help. My mother also had a large role to play in the after-effects of the bombing. She is a nurse at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, so she was present in the operating room during many of the operations. I will never forget the images of the bombs going off or the video coverage of the chase. Now, one year later, the effects are still evident. My mom still thinks about the bombing all the time and what it was like to be in the midst of such a tragedy. She operated on four of the victims and even on the bomber himself. My mom, along with twenty surgeons, repaired gunshot wounds. There was an FBI agent with a gun present during the whole operation. She was happy to have been able to help the victims but she still struggles with the moral conflict of helping someone who hurt so many people. It is not something she will soon forget. In terms of the whole city and state, I believe that we are more united and stronger than before. Although it was devastating, it’s been said that when one door is closed, several other doors are opened.

-Mike O.


I was in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on a family vacation when I found out the horrible news. I had just came into the condo for lunch after a long day of tanning. After making my salad I was flipping through the channels and saw “BREAKING NEWS” on almost all of the news stations. I was not phased considering I didn’t think it would effect me at all, being so far from home. When I saw that the headlines stating “Bombing in Boston,” I began to panic. At this time I wished I wasn’t so far away; I wanted to be able to help and support my community. Immediately I called and texted all of my friends who I knew were in Boston watching the marathon. My first reaction to all of this news was confusion. I remember all different news stations having all different sources and information. I felt I really couldn’t get the truth of what was happening. From 2 bombs to 10, the information was always changing. I felt hurt, sad, upset that someone would disrespect my city in that way. With only a day left in my vacation, I began to become very anxious about what was going to happen. I will always remember sitting in the lobby of a Holiday Inn on the ride home watching the chase of Dzhokar. Once the news got out that he was captured, I felt a sense of relief. A bit of safety, knowing he was where he belonged, in the hands of the government. One year later I have to say I am proud. I am proud of my community and my city. We all came together in a time of distress and supported one another. Still one year later it makes me sick to think of all the innocent people injured and killed during the marathon. Although this is a horrible event to occur, I am relieved that this is the first time it has happened to Boston unlike other countries where this is the normal. I am thankful that we live in a safe and protected country. We are very lucky to have strong and powerful police as well as government that can help support us.

-Hannah A.


I was in my kitchen, emptying the dishwasher as I had just gotten back from my Grandfather’s house, where we were watching the Marathon.  As I was in the kitchen, I refreshed my Twitter feed and saw a tweet from NESN analyst Jenny Dell stating there were two explosions at the Boston Marathon. I immediately told my family and turned on the TV. From there on out, I watched TV almost continuously for the whole week. I immediately assumed it was a terrorist attack, but I decided to wait and see how it shakes out before making any true assumptions. I will never forget staying up all night watching the ‘man hunt’ after the shooting at MIT and when the photo came out of suspect #2 (His first name is a wreck I can’t spell it) at a Seven Eleven in Watertown, I believe. I never went to bed that night, but I did fall asleep on the couch at 9 AM and got back up at 3 PM with each of the suspects still on the loose. I felt angry, distraught, and devastated. That being said, the unity displayed by not only the people of Boston but the entire United States of America restored my faith in humanity, just a little bit. It allowed me to believe that there are more good people in this world than bad, and it is just a shame that it can take something of this magnitude for everyone to come together and support each other. We stand here today, a year later, still strongly affected by what happened that day, and that is something that will never change. Nobody deserves to lose their eight year old child because a coward decided to put a bomb to his left. I would never wish that upon anyone. The amount of people injured makes me sick to my stomach. It also makes me sick that Sean Collier never received his promotion that he had always desired in June, because his life was cut short in April. After watching what happened this year at the Boston Marathon, it allowed me to appreciate law enforcement and firefighters far more than I did prior to the attacks. Their courageous acts in response to the attacks have inspired me to become a cop in Boston one day, the greatest city in the world.

– Peter C.


I was at home; I think I was hanging out with my friend…  My phone started blowing up, and I checked it after awhile, and it was my friends texting in the group message about something happening at the marathon… I turned on the news and looked it up on my phone and learned what had happened. It was so scary. My friend’s dad was working one block over from the scene, and their whole family was trying to contact him. It’s awful and horrible that someone would cause this much hurt to innocent people, especially during the Boston Marathon. I remember my whole family watching the man hunt, where the police chased after the guy who did it. It was so scary, and I couldn’t believe that this was actually happening in a town a few hours away, not even. When they caught him inside that boat, everyone’s reaction was amazing. The police and fire and all the people on TV were cheering and everyone was happy for the capture of this horrible man. Although everyone was happy for the capture, the sorrow and pain for those who died was still heavy upon them, and still is to this day. It’s been a year now, and a year went by very quick. I think everyone involved in the marathon bombing and those who lost family members or got injured are so strong. Those who helped to rescue people and get everyone out should be very proud. A lot of courage went into that day, and I think no one should ever forget it and the danger that is still so alive in our society today.

-Chloe B.


I was watching the marathon that morning with my family, and I was relaxing. I was bored, so I went to go play video games, and then when I came back up stairs at around 12 o’clock, I saw on the news that there had been a bombing. I was shocked, and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I can’t believe it has been a year since it happened. It feels much more recent than just a year ago. I think this is because the effects of the bombing lasted much longer than the initial day itself. This will affect people and the world for ever. Nobody will ever run a marathon or the Boston Marathon ever again without someone thinking about this event.

-Max B.


I was sitting on the couch with a movie playing on the television in the background. My attention was on my phone. I found myself checking a new Snapchat that I had received; it was a video. Holding down the icon, I watching as it played. One of my friends had recorded the breaking news; there were shots of smoke and runners with a news title underneath that I could not make out. The five second video cut off, leaving me more confused than anything. Not even a second later my phone started buzzing; my dad was calling. He asked me if I had seen the news, if I knew what had happened. I slowly looked up at the television screen that was still playing the movie. I told him I didn’t. He told me to go watch it, and he would call back in a few minutes.Grabbing the remote control, I flipped to the news. The pictures and videos of runners and smoke filled the screen again. The title was now visible, “3 Dead, More Than 140 Hurt in Bombings”.

-Jacquelyn P.


I was at my friend’s house when my brother called me from Florida and told me about the bombing. At first I thought he was lying to me and it was not real and that my brother was just joking. I then went down stairs and turned on the news, and to my amazement the bombing did actually occur. Maybe I was in shock or disbelief that something like that would happen. It was especially shocking that something like that happened so close to where I live. It really impacted a lot of people that I knew, and it was strange seeing bombs go off in places I had been to many times. I remember wondering if that bombing would set off other bombings in the area or in general. When topics like that get tons of press, sometimes it sets off other people to start bombings or related actions. I remember all the different news stations had so many different stories, and the stories kept on changing with the more information the networks received. It was all very shocking and confusing. Everything was moving very quickly, and everyone around me was very stressed out. It was hard not to get nervous or paranoid about my friends and family that live in that area. I was mainly concerned for the well being of my loved ones in the area and all the people in the area that were put at risk.

– Laura


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