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I was in front of the...

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This story was collected by the Boston Globe in the days immediately following the Boston Marathon Bombing. GlobeLab collected these anonymous stories on the Boston.com website and donated them to the Our Marathon Archive. We are grateful for this contribution, which gives insight into how Bostonians and visitors to the city understood the bombing events in their immediate aftermath.

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I was in front of the Sugar Heaven store watching the race and waiting for a friend to finish his first marathon.

I was snapping some pictures and enjoying the day.

I realized that my friend was not to arrive for a while, so I decided to get an ice cream at Sugar Heaven.

I finished the ice cream and moved back into the crowd, but a bit closer to the finish line. I think that saved me from injury when the first bomb went off.

I felt the blast, saw the fire and smoke, smelled gunpowder and immediate panic broke out.

Many people next to me had cuts, some of them further away were seriously injured (horrific images).

Then the second bomb went off and everyone who could started running as fast as they could. I was afraid of a stampede. I was getting out of there as well.

I fled into the AT&T store with quite a few others. Inside the store, some people were lightly wounded, a few of them more seriously.

I managed to call my wife. She expected a call from me but expected that I would call about our friend crossing the finish line. Instead I just shouted I was still OK and that I loved her.

Then the AT&T store was evacuated (rumor about the LensCrafter store was being bombed) and I slowly made my way to Dartmouth St.

Then I realized that my friend's family was planning to meetup with me at the finish line. I tried to reach them just to know that they were OK and to let them know that I was OK. It was hard, because cellphone reception was bad. Finally, I got a voice-mail notification from them. They were OK.

After that I saw more horrific images of the wounded being wheeled into the triage tent... I suddenly realized I was not hurt at all, only a slight ringing in my ears.

I called my dad in Holland (I'm Dutch) to let him know I was OK.

Then I went searching for my friend's family. We found each other by phone and met up at my home on Nassau St later that evening. Everyone was emotionally exhausted.

It was so surreal how a day of joy was turned into a day of horrors in an instant.

But I was very very lucky. I'm alive, not hurt, my friends and family are OK. My thoughts are with the victims who were injured or killed.

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