The Boston Marathon Bombing: One Year Later

Compiled by Melissa Blakeslee, Cody Bridges, Nate Bruce, Joseph Freire, Cody L’Heureux, Jonathan Karales, Yannis Lam, Joe Walsh
BHS News


April 15 marks the one year anniversary of The Boston Marathon Bombing. BHS News interviewed people about their experiences that day, and how they think it has affected the Boston area. Their responses are below.

Anonymous, BHS Faculty
I was at home in Boston and someone called me to inform me. I was shocked and sad. I wondered if I knew anyone there at that moment. [The lasting impact is] the image of people helping each other.

Anonymous ’17

I was at home and saw it on the news. I was in disbelief. It has scarred many people and families and supports the idea that anything can happen.

Melissa Blakeslee ’14
I was out front of the convention center train station [when I heard about the bombings]. I felt scared because I was so close to the scene. I [questioned] how am I going to get home? When am I going to be able to call my mom because the cell phone service was off? Is there going to be another bomb? Where do I go? April 15 will always be remembered because of all the lives lost and injured that day.

Nate Bruce ’16
I was at home and my mom told me about it. I was shocked and couldn’t believe it. It has made every place more secure and a lot of people live in fear.

Donna Bruce, Braintree Resident
I was home watching the news. I was scared and sad. [I wondered] who could be do mean to do this and will more bombs go off around Boston? It had made everyone stronger and more aware of their surroundings. People never think that things like this would happen where they live, but it can happen anywhere.

Ms. Cushing, English Teacher
I was in Boston, leaving the Red Sox game. It appeared on the news at the restaurant I was at.
I was petrified because I had a voicemail from my father telling me to get out of the city immediately but my cell phone did not work. My stomach dropped, I knew it was serious. Everyone I was with knew someone running or a police officer so emotions were running high. So many of my friends and family were affected by the shock and scare of the bombing. A few of my friends were running and did not get to finish. My friend was a close friend of someone who died. I think it made my community and the city of Boston realize the tragedies can happen at any given time. It also united people, making everyone proud of their city and be more than willing to donate to the one fund.

Mr. Dahlbeck, Alternatives Teacher
I just got out of work and was at an establishment near Fenway. I remember all of sudden the place got silent and people were crowded by the television. I was scared. I thought about my dad. He is a Boston cop and I didn’t know where he was. Since cell phones were off in the area, one of the managers allowed me to use an office phone to call my mom. She told me my dad was off that day, but he had been called to JFK Library because of a suspicious explosion right after the Marathon bombing (it ended up being an electrical fire). Then my thoughts turned to my friend Dani who was running her first Boston Marathon. Through the power of Facebook I found out that she was okay as well. I think people were scared at first, but then it brought about a real sense of pride in being from Boston with the Boston Strong movement. Now I think it has just made people more aware of security and their surroundings.
(Note: Dani is a former coworker of Mr. Dahlbeck at The Boston Globe and a fitness blogger. To read her recap of the race click here and to read her thoughts about the tragedy click here).

Mrs. Devlin, Special Services
I was shopping in Marshall’s and I got a text from my younger sister. [I felt] sick to my stomach. [I wondered] where were my family members? For years many of my family went into the Marathon. My nephew was there, but we found out quickly that he was fine. A good friend of my family was running and her husband was with his daughter not far from the finish line. I was texting with him while he was looking for his wife. I think like all tragedies my world was shaken. You realize everything can change in an instant.

Mrs. Dodd, Learning Center Teacher
I was at home painting, and I was shocked. It changed the way people think about safety and brought the city closer together.

Mr. Dundon, Archer Teacher
I was at home taking care of my son. I was really angry. I wanted to capture these people and hold them responsible. The bombing brought the people closer together and Boston Strong!

Olivia Dyer, Quincy Resident
I was at my home and I saw it on the news. I was scared and I hoped no one got hurt. There’s a lot more security and some people are afraid of that area in Boston.

Mrs. Dziedzic, Science
I was at home and I received a call from my parents. At first, I was not sure about the seriousness of the situation. Once I turned on the news, and watched the coverage, I was in disbelief and shock. I think it has made people realize how close to home tragedy and terror can happen. It has brought the Boston community closer together with the Boston Strong movement. I feel anxious about the upcoming Marathon and a lasting heavy heart.

Mr. Ellis, Physical Education
I was working water station at mile eighteen. My wife was at the finish line and a first responder. She walked to Beth Israel Deaconess where she worked. She stayed there for two days. I could not reach her for a period of time. I am not going near there this year.

Dr. Ford-Clark, School Psychologist
[I was] on vacation in Florida. My husband, who is an MBTA police officer working in Boston, called me. I was shocked, vulnerable, worried, and very sad. [I felt] worried for my son, who was working near the finish line, and concerned for my husband, who would be working throughout the aftermath.[I have] a close friend who was at the finish line. She was clearly traumatized and speaks about it often – particularly how it has shattered her sense of safety.Pride and solidarity in our close knit community tempered by a lasting sense of unease in crowds and the reality that we are all vulnerable [developed after the bombing]. Also a greater awareness of how we as Americans are viewed by the world

Joseph Barbosa Freire ’15
I was sleeping then when I woke up and turned on SportsCenter then it said what happened. I felt sorry for all the families and I thought who would ever do that when people are running for a good cause? [I wondered] why would you do something like this to innocent people when they have nothing to do with your life? It brings everyone together in a crisis like this.

Harry Gill ’15
Marathon security will be increased exponentially. I think terrorists will be deterred by how fast the Tsarnaev brothers were identified and caught.

Ms. Grieco, House Two Adminstrative Assistant
I was at home, and I felt shock and disbelief. [I wondered] Where is my oldest daughter? She lives near there. I think it made Boston a closer city.

Mr. Grigas, Learning Center Teacher
I had just left my friend who was going to run the last 5K when I got home and saw it on the news. I was in disbelief and worried about my friend. The bombing has created a little bit of worry that it may happen again.

Mrs. Hoffman, Special Services
I was concerned for all who were injured. My first thoughts were for the runners and spectators and how bad their injuries were. I had friends and family near the finish line. They were all very upset. I am impressed with how the city of Boston and the people of Boston have come together to overcome their tragedy.

Michael “Duke” Hoffman ’17
I was at Parker School, and I was a bit scared. I know people were scared to go into that area.

Victoria Hynes ’14
I was on my way out the door to go to work. A friend whose sister was there texted me. I was shocked and scared. [I wondered] what kind of psycho would do this? My dad was kind of affected. He works for the MBTA and he got called in as “emergency personnel.” They were using buses to transport people. I think it brought Boston a lot closer. It has scared many but Boston will be a stronger city now.

Jonathan Karales ’16
We were watching TV when it went down. I was shocked. [I wondered] Who did it? How did they do it? Why would they do it? People and families were scarred for life.

Yannis Lam ’17
I was inside my house and I heard the iPhone notification sound go off multiple times. I checked it and several apps were telling me of breaking news that some sort of explosion went off at the finish line of The Boston Marathon. I was confused and a little fearful. I immediately ran outside to confer with my parents who were doing some yard work. I wanted to check with my friends to tell them about this frightening development and warn them of any harm. My friend Kevin was in Boston at the time. He had a tough time getting home. My mother and I delivered the news that he was stuck in Boston to his grandmother. We, as the people of Massachusetts, have gotten tighter and more vigilant as a community. You cannot go a single day without seeing 4/15/2013 or “Boston Strong” memorabilia.

Mrs. Lebo, Alternatives Teacher
I was In England on a trip with students, and they began seeing what happened. So we went back to the hotel and went to go watch the news. I was horrified and extremely worried about my family, and upset that I was so far away. I was very concerned for the families. My sister worked in a building near the finished line and my husband said he might take my kids to cheer on friends who were running. Two of my friends were unable to finish their run. My sister and many other family members were locked down in Cambridge and Watertown. I think we will always know that these things can happen anytime.

Mr. Lee, Headmaster

I was at a petting zoo with my kids when a woman told us. She had just received a Facebook post on it. I was worried that I might have known someone who was hurt. I called the people that I thought might have gone into the race. A former student of mine took over 200 pieces of shrapnel. I went to see him a few days later. [I think the bombing created] a sense of uneasiness that makes our society more protective and defensive than we would want it to be.

Andrew Lynch ’15
I was with my friends driving around when someone said there’s a bomb at The Boston Marathon. I was very mad, and wanted to know more. There is more security [now].

Mr. Lynch, Archer Teacher
I was coaching a lacrosse practice and I heard on the radio going home that bombs went off at finish line. [I was] scared because my brother works in the John Hancock building and that is directly next to the finish line. I hoped my brother was in his office and not taking a lunch break and watching the Marathon. [The bombing] made the community of Boston stronger and more aware that there are jerks out there who want to hurt people, so be on the lookout. I certainly do not think it scared anyone and people will continue to live their lives without fear.

Jessica MacDonald, Quincy Resident
I was at a friend’s house and my dad told me. I was sad and scared. Boston has been more on edge since then.

Mr. Marx, English
Interestingly enough, I was in Swindon, England when I heard of the bombing. I was chaperoning the school trip to England, and one of my friends who was back in Boston texted me that something was going on. Several of the students on the trip received similar texts from their friends and family. It was strange because information was so limited and no one knew anything for certain. I was obviously worried and concerned for the safety of my loved ones. I used to live in Brookline, so I knew many people who lived on or around the route. I also felt powerless and confused because there was so little verified, confirmed information about what really happened. Although it was a tragedy, the bombing has led to a greater sense of cohesion and identity among Boston residents. Further, it has increased security and awareness of possible threats. I worry that it may also have increased xenophobia and irrational fears of public places, but I hope that in time, those initial reactions will fade.

Ms. McDonald, Guidance Department
I was on vacation in Florida and I saw in on TV. I felt sick. My niece was running the Marathon and I just wanted her to be alright. I think it showed that more security is needed.

Mr. McFarland, Social Studies Teacher
I was on a plane to Florida when I saw on the news that a bomb went off. I felt scared for my family members that were at the race. I was not sure if it was a bomb or a freak accident. [I wanted to know] what happened? Who do I know that was there? [Now there will be] stricter security at events like that. More people will feel nervous about attending things like it.

Shauna McGrath ’14
I was babysitting when I heard. It was shocking and I was worried about my brother. I needed to know he was safe. Security will definitely be stronger this year.

Hang Miao ’17

I was in Boston that day and planned to go see the Marathon. I heard people saying there’s a bomb at Copley. I was in shock and couldn’t believe it.

Mr. Morrissey, Paraeducator
I was competing in my first Marathon last year. At 2:49 I had just made the final turn on to Boylston St. I heard a loud boom that seemed to reverberate off the buildings like a cannon. I looked up and saw the finish line and a billow of smoke rising before I witnessed the second bomb go off, closer to me. I was stopped at the twenty six mile marker by a wall of police officers. Thankfully my family and friends were unharmed and, after two hours of searching and a arduous walk to Southie, I was able to catch a taxi to Braintree. I am running again this year.

Mrs. Moynihan, House Two Housemaster
I was in England on a trip with students and I found out on the internet. I was horrified and scared. I needed to keep the sixty BHS students with me safe and comfort them. I needed to figure out how they were all going to reach their parents. I feel it made Boston stronger. We gained pride and a greater commitment to overcoming adversity.

Vanessa Nguyen ’14
I was working and found out from tweets. I was scared and shocked. I hoped I didn’t know anyone that got hurt.

Megan Rennie ’15
[I was at] my friend’s house when his mom came home from work she mentioned it. [I felt] confused and I wondered what caused the explosion because they didn’t know it was a bomb yet.[I knew that] people will be more on edge.

Joey Ryan ’17
I was at Best Buy and my brother told me. I felt bad for the families. [I questioned] how it happened and who would do this? I think security at all sporting events will be higher.

Matt Ryan ’14
[I was at] Best Buy when my mother told me after she read it on her phone. I felt sad and I was worried for everyone there. I hoped everyone was okay. It separated families and scarred innocent human lives for the rest of their lives.

Jake Smith ’16
I was at baseball practice at the Hollis field when I first heard about it. I felt angry and I had sympathy for all the people that were affected and their families. I wanted them to find the people who did it and torture them, to be completely honest. It isn’t going to be the same at the marathon ever again.

Mr. Tibbetts, Art
I was working on a collaborative piece of art with a fellow artist in his studio in South Boston. His son called and asked where he was and then told us to turn on the TV. We turned on the computer in the studio and saw. I was shocked and horrified. I wondered if it was a terrorist attack like 9/11. I think it will make people more watchful and vigilant in large gatherings of people.

Mrs. Troy, Guidance Counselor
I was home with my daughter when it happened and I saw it on TV. I was shocked and wondered how this could happen. I was concerned for the safety of my friends and family who were at the Marathon. My best friend is an ER nurse and told me all the stories of the people she helped. Things like this make you think about even simple events. Heightened security will be everywhere this year’s Marathon.

Joe Walsh ’16
I was in the car and I heard it on the radio. I was shocked and dismayed. I was worried that my family and friends in the city were in danger. I wondered what happened and feared further attacks. I believe the tragedy united the city. There is a new found sense of pride, and a self awareness of what we truly value.

Nick Zaccari ’14
I was in Florida and I found out about it on the Florida Breaking News. [I felt] horrible when I found out that people were injured and killed. [I immediately wondered] if any of my friends of family members were hurt during the bombings. There is way more security now, and they just made a mini-museum of the peoples’ shoes for the public.

Answers compiled from surveys. Feel free to add your own thoughts about the impact of the Marathon bombing in the comments section. Check back as we will update the story to include people’s comments and other surveys as they come in.