Boston Marathon bombings

People mourn the loss of those who died during the bombing attacks during the Boston Marathon. photo taken from

26 miles for 26 lives was the commemorative theme of this year’s Boston Marathon on April 16. Tragically, the event that was meant to honor the lives of those killed in Newtown and to celebrate the endurance of the human spirit, came to an abrupt and tragic end when a large explosion went off  at 2:50 pm amid runners and spectators.  13 seconds after the first explosion on Boylston Street, another explosion added to the chaos just a few blocks away.

People mourn the loss of those who died during the bombing attacks during the Boston Marathon.  photo taken from
People mourn the loss of those who died during the bombing attacks during the Boston Marathon.
photo taken from

“My brother attends Boston College and he and all of his friends went to Boston that day to enjoy all of the Patriots day Festivities,” senior Marguerite Sommer said. “For hours my brother could not be found by his cell phone or his friends. I have never been so scared and could not be more appreciative that we finally found him safe and sound.”
Three people have been reported dead and more than 175 have been critically injured on a day that is known for charity, accomplishment, and determination. According to The New York Times, three quarters of the 23,000 runners had already passed the finish line when the first explosion filled the air with a haze of chaotic smoke.  Still, the placement of this first explosion, which was allegedly hidden in a garbage can, was strategically placed to maximize terror because this spot was where the runners would culminate and be greeted by their friends and families.
The second explosion, several hundred feet away, caused similar anguish due to the immense crowds that come out to enjoy this day. Instead of the smiles and laughs that should have been shared, people fled in terror as they ran on blood-streaked sidewalks desperately looking for their family members.
“This is such a disgusting crime,” sophomore Catherine Hayden said. “Not only is it just so terrible because of the violence, but to plan it on such an amazing day that honors life makes it even worse in nature.”
Senior Meggie Purcell’s brother, Denny, ran in the marathon for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, after courageously overcoming Lymphoma just months ago. Though he was taken off the course with just two miles to go, he, and the Purcell family returned from Boston unharmed. His valiant run celebrated his life and funded research that could potentially save the lives of many in the future.
“I was so proud to watch my brother and all of the runners around him,” senior Meggie Purcell said. “I was just a few blocks away when the explosion went off and in seconds, the chaos made a tragic end to what should have been an incredible day. I am just very thankful that my brother, my family, and I got home safe.”
Just as the firefighters ran into the burning twin towers in 2001, there were several acts of admirable heroism that add a ray of light to an otherwise bleak day.  As terrified spectators ran out in hysterics, teams of policemen and doctors rushed in to help in every way that they could. Even the runners, who had spent several months training and over four hours running, did what they could to bring people to safety.
NBC Sports Network tweeted, “Reports of Marathon Runners that crossed finish line and continued to run to Mass General Hospital to give blood to victims #PrayforBoston,” according to
According, the FBI agents found that the bombs were created with kitchen pressure cookers filled with explosives, nails and other lethal shrapnel to impose maximum injuries. They still do not have any idea what the motivation was but they have identified two suspects, who according to The Chicago Tribune, are from Chechnya. In a violent chase through Watertown, MA, one suspect was killed as well as an MIT police officer who died in the crossfire.
According to The Associated Press, the other suspect is on the move and “very dangerous.” The towns surrounding Boston including Cambridge, Newton, and Watertown have been put on lockdown. Schools are closed and people are urged to stay indoors as to ease the search from house-to-house. Mass transit has also been closed until indeterminately as the manhunt continues. 
“We will get to the bottom of this,” President Obama said. “We will find who did this, and we will find out why they did this. Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice,” according to The New York Times.
– Allie Kenny, Opinions Editor