Where were you on Patriot’s Day? The day of the Boston Marathon, the day of the bombings?
After checking into a hotel in Baltimore, I waited for the elevator, glancing up at the big screen TV hung on the wall. I don’t remember the exact words – just Boston Marathon and explosions, those words enough to grab my attention, to shock and to scare me.
Far from Boston, we ventured out for dinner. The Inner Harbor of Baltimore was eerie, the mood tense and ominous as more and more police appeared, on bike, in boat, in cars, in helicopters.
Back home, only 30 miles west of Boston, my daughter texted me to assure me she was safe. Back in our hotel room, we watched the news.
I know people who were on bikes at the Prudential Center, just a block away. I know of people who were delayed as they ran the course, realizing that the delay prevented them from crossing the finish line at 2:50 p.m. I’ve heard stories of people in my town and in neighboring towns who were dining nearby, volunteering in the medical tents; people who walked into one of the explosions.
We awoke Friday morning at home to the news and Boston’s shut down, spending the day glued to the TV, relieved when Suspect No. 2 was cornered and later apprehended.
An American flag undulated on the back of a pickup truck in front of us as my daughter and I drove into Boston on Saturday. A man walked down Newbury Street with another flag draped around his shoulders. The streets were full of red, white, and blue: families wore Boston Bruins and Boston Red Sox shirts, people wore college sweatshirts –from Boston University and Boston College.
Barriers prevented us from walking down the cross streets of Exeter and Dartmouth towards Boylston Street where police and FBI gathered evidence.
In front of the Nike store, we joined others writing and drawing sentiments with chalk on the sidewalk.
We saw flowers and stuffed animals and therapy dogs at the eastern end of the Boylston Street makeshift memorial.
We read signs in front of cafes and stores offering free coffee and discounts to responders. We spoke to a man who lost his daughter on 9/11.
On Sunday, I ordered Boston Strong t-shirts for each member of our family. I’ve watched videos and read articles of people across the country and around the world routing for Boston, singing “Sweet Caroline,” and raising money for The One Fund Boston.
I was in Baltimore when Boston was bombed. Where were you?
Trip taken April 2013.