One unforgettable day changed the way people will regard 117 years of tradition. On April 15th, 2013 the two explosions that went off near the finish line of the cherished historic Boston Marathon left a mark on many, near and far. The Marathon, Boston’s largest annual event, was featured as headline news on national and international stages and took over social media sources such as Twitter and Facebook. In the moments, hours, days and weeks after the bombs detonated it became news that was impossible to avoid.
It was like any ordinary day. I was sitting at the front desk of my co-op office in Washington, D.C., surfing the web and scrolling through Facebook during my lunch break. I recall coming across a status that stated verbatim: “Bombs went off at the finish line.” Initially, I brushed off the idea thinking it was a cheap joke and that the guy who wrote the status was a complete jerk. It took me a few more minutes to contextualize the statement. In my mind all I could think was, “Of course, it’s Marathon Monday in Boston. Wait, did that status reference the finish line?” I began to refresh my news feed at lightning speed. More reference to bombings, loud noises, screams, and chaos filled the page. I could hardly process what I was reading. I quickly ran into the back of the office to switch on the news. As I finally flipped to MSNBC, I watched the first aired video clips of the attacks. For minutes my eyes were glued to the screen, the same clips played over and over and over again. My next reaction was to scramble to call, text, contact, and communicate with anyone and everyone in Boston, Massachusetts, and New England. I needed to know that my friends and my family were safe. I must have sent out 100 “Are you okay? Be safe.” texts. My breathing slowed and I exhaled in relief with each reply I received. I left work early that day because major transportation in the city was being shut down and monitored. When I walked through my front door, I ate my dinner in silence, checked my inbox for incoming NU alerts and fell asleep on the couch to the sound of news anchors discussing the details of the ever unfolding events from that day.