After being a little absent from blogging in the last few weeks, I can’t believe that my first post back will be so solemn. I usually use my blog to share all the wonderful and exciting people, places, and things that encompass my life at Tufts. Unfortunately, yesterday’s Boston Marathon bombing very much affected my life.
April 15, 2013 will be a day forever ingrained in my mind. I will never, ever forget every moment of that day. As I stood only a couple hundred yards away from the explosions, my world turned upside down. However, one part of this horrific day made all the difference. If it weren’t for the incredibly caring and strong group of friends I was with, my day would have been much, much worse.
We had set out yesterday morning to have a fun day watching the marathon and cheering on our friends who were running it. I was particularly excited because last year, I wasn't able to go, so this would be my first Boston Marathon experience, a rite of passage for new Bostonians. After wandering up and down the racecourse, seeing runners and their families exit the area, and having a nice lunch in a park, we were ready to see the real action.
My friends and I approached the course less than half a block away from the finish line and pushed our way to the front. It was absolutely thrilling. We all cheered on the racers and seeing them run by us just a few hundred feet from the finish line was one of the most exhilarating and touching things we had ever seen. It was such an exciting place to be, full of joy. After a few minutes, some of my friends started shouting a name and as I looked up, I saw one of our friends zoom by towards the finish. We all went absolutely wild, cheering her name and tears forming in our eyes. I remember turning to my friend and we both had goose bumps.
Just a few minutes later, the smiles on our faces turned into looks of terror. After seeing our friend, we decided that we had seen enough and wanted to greet her so we slowly started to walk away from the barricades. We had just barely left the spectator area, when a horrific noise sounded behind us. For a moment, we all didn’t quite know what it was, but just ten seconds later, another noise sounded, the ground shook beneath us, and smoke billowed above us, and we knew something was wrong. From there, everything is a blur. I remember screams as my friends and I ran for our lives. We ran and ran and ran until we couldn't run anymore.
The next 6 hours were crazy, to say the least. We wandered the streets of Boston, trying to find a way back to Tufts and at the same time, fearing another explosion somewhere in the city. Needless to say, it was a long couple of hours filled with lots and lots of walking, frantic phone calls, and questions about what was going on. At about 8:00PM, we finally made it all back to Tufts.
It was a horrible day, but I am extraordinarily thankful that no one I know was physically hurt. After reading today’s news articles, I cannot fathom how the friends and family of those killed or injured are feeling today. They are the true victims. My heart goes out to them.
Through all this tragedy, however, there is a silver lining. I went to the Boston Marathon with twelve of my friends and left with twelve of my friends. We had each other. We went through something together, as horrible as it was, that bonded us together. I can’t imagine reliving yesterday without all the people I was with. They made me feel safe, protected, and loved and I hope I was able to do so for them, even if only in a small way.
As we waited for our rides back to Tufts yesterday evening, we sat around a dinner table sharing a couple of pizzas. As I looked around me, I couldn't help but feel so grateful for the twelve people at the table. For just a moment, we were able to forget the day’s earlier events and eat, laugh, smile, and feel safe once again.