My experiences, thoughts, photos and videos in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon yesterday.
Police redirecting runners on Beacon Street.
I just wanted to share with you some experiences, thoughts, photos and videos in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon yesterday.
First of all, thank you for your concerns. I am fine and my thoughts and prayers go out to all those who were injured or have loved ones who were. The radio reports of the injuries that I'm hearing today are just horrific and heart wrenching. For example, the eight-year-old who passed was only moments earlier hugging his father who had just completed the race. The child's sister and mother were also severely wounded, as is no surprise, the family was together. After all, this is a family event. If one member is in harms way, they all are.
I was with my friend Karl at a Marathon viewing party about 1-mile from the finish line, on Beacon Street, right where it goes over Mass Pike to make the entry to Kenmore Square. Before the bombs all was wonderful. It was a glorious day with perfect running conditions. But afterwards, things at this intersection quickly became chaotic and distressful. Police terminated the race there and diverted confused and frightened runners. They told them the race was over and that they need to go home or back to their hotels or that if they gathered behind Fenway Park, there would be buses taking them to the Boston Common. Many of these runners were exhausted and bit delirious and didn't understand what was going on and then frightened because their loved ones might have been waiting for them at the finish line. Everyone was reaching for cell phones, but the lines were down. It was really a horrible experience. Meanwhile, further up Beacon Street many runners were still coming forward being cheered on by spectators who may not yet have been aware. It was a bizarre situation in which some people were cognizant of the tragedy while others were still festive.
Eventually, the police closed down the race even further up Beacon Street and requested that everyone leave the area.
Personal History With Patriots Day and The Marathon
The Boston Marathon has a special place for me and my family because the first day we came to Boston to check it out as a possible city to move to was Patriots Day, circa 1969. We found ourselves in the midst of the Boston Marathon, wanting to drive across Beacon Street, and didn't even know what it was. The Boston Marathon was a small provincial, amateur affair then. My mother, in her glorious innocence, said something quite close to, "Isn't it interesting. People are clapping every time someone crosses the street", to which, my father, with his indomitable intelligence, replied "I think it's a race".
We moved to Boston that year, and ever since, watching the Marathon has been a tradition. For thirty years or so, we lived at 308 Commonwealth Ave, which is right on the corner of Hereford Street, where the course turns for it's final stretch on Mass Ave. I used to watch the race from our roof top. We had the best view. People would try to get into our apartment building to get to the roof. Many times, I stood at the finish line exactly in the area where the bombs went off yesterday. In fact, I prided myself on getting through the crowds to see the finish up close. I shudder to think, but certainly, one of those victims could have been me.
In some years, we've gone to Lexington or Concord to see the battle reenactments. In other years, I've gone to the morning Red Sox game.
Patriots Day / Marathon Day has been such a component of my upbringing in this city, it is hard to fathom what is going to become of the tradition and our experience with it. Certainly, they'll continue, but somehow things will be different. As they say, "you can never go home".
Peace and good tidings to all of you.
10:34 PM PT: Fixed typos