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A Cowardly Act Of Terror

February 21, 2014

On April 15 2013, the unthinkable happened in Boston near Copley Square; a tragedy that left the city of Boston in terror, the Boston Marathon Bombing. This tragedy changed how daily activities were run in the city of Boston. Security became tighter and people became hypervigilant. It changed the way I viewed the world and taught me how precious life was. On that fateful Monday morning, my family and I had decided to go see the Boston Marathon which had attracted both elite and amateur runners from all over the world. My mom, brother and I took the train to Hynes Convention Center and walked through the spectators to Prudential Center. We watched and cheered on as the runners both young and old made their way to the finish line. I learned that my math teacher Mr. Tobio was taking part in the marathon so I looked through the runners from time to time to see if I could find him. It was lunchtime and though I hadn’t seen Mr. Tobio I had to leave for the food court because I was hungry. We went to the food court in the Prudential Center which was right behind us and got ourselves some pizza. My family and I left the food court and came back to cheer on the runners. This time with more energy and enthusiasm because we had fueled up our systems. I wanted to see the finish line so badly because it was my first time at the Boston Marathon so I suggested we go there. We tried to push through the dense crowd who looked cheerful and glad to be a part of this occasion but our efforts were futile so we came back to our previous post and a few minutes later I suggested we try again and even though they resisted, they finally gave into my persuasion. We pushed through the crowd and this time we were successful. We were now standing right in front of the Lenox Hotel which was very close to the finish line. I decided to take a picture of the flags because I liked the blend of colors. It was a Boston tradition but different people from different nations had come to run the marathon.They all had the same goal, to cross the finish line. Bob Marley once said “Different colors, one people”. We were different people but we all had the same goal of celebrating runners. I was about to take the picture and leave but for some reason, the phone went off so I had to wait for it to reboot. I cheered on the runners who were almost close to the finish line as I waited and just when I was about to take the picture, I heard a loud bang which shook the ground. I felt dizzy for a second and when I looked around and there was smoke everywhere. My first thoughts were, “Oh my God that's a bomb or something else? Why would anyone do that? What should I do now?” In my confused train of thought, I felt a hand pulling me away. It was my mom. She was pushing my brother and me through the crowd which seemed confused and shocked. I didn't hear them screaming or wailing, they had just frozen in place. Parents hugged their children to comfort them. As we moved through the crowd we heard a second bomb go off in the direction we were heading. That is when things got crazy. That was when I heard some people screaming and running even though they did not know which direction to go. The second bomb had exploded opposite the Prudential Center. I got very scared because I didn't know if there was a third bomb and didn't know where it was. All of this looked like something you would see in a horror movie to me. There was blood everywhere and with the number of people fleeing the scene I was afraid there was going to be a stampede. Fortunately, we were close to the Lord and Taylor department store so we got in there and used the back exit On our way home, all I could hear was wailing sirens from the police cars or ambulances. The police were screaming at drivers who were in the way of the ambulances and sometimes they even cursed at them. When I looked at the faces of most people, all I saw was fear, shock and despair. Some had tears in their eyes and others put their hands on their heads a sign that the worst had happened. We got home and the first thing I did was to turn on the television to get the latest update. The death toll was two and the injured was somewhere in the twenties. I hoped and prayed that these numbers would not go up but I knew that under those circumstances, it would take only a miracle for that to happen. Some say miracles do happen and the city of Boston was in dire need of one. I was in the room with my brother and mom but none of them uttered a word. We were all in shock. We still couldn't believe what had happened. We got out of that house that day with the hopes of joining Boston in the annual celebration of runners. It never crossed our minds that something like that could happen. That cheerful environment we had been in a few minutes ago had turned into a city of terror. I posted a Facebook update asking if Mr. Tobio and everyone was okay. I got a reply the next morning saying that Tobio, his wife, and other teachers who had run the Marathon were all fine. The next few days were tense, everyone was on edge because the suspects had not been identified and arrested. It was spring break so I did not have to worry about going to school scared. I stayed home glued to the television set while my mom braided my hair. The FBI had released pictures of the suspects along with a few descriptions. The pictures were not clear so I was upset because it didn't have details that I could identify a stranger with Friday morning was the most tense day of that week. Boston was on lockdown. The suspects had been involved in gun battle with the police the previous night and one died as a result. The other one was on the run and that made me nervous and scared. I prayed that law enforcement would apprehend him because I didn't want to hear of any more casualties. The surviving suspect was apprehended in the evening and that was a relief Boston. A week of fear and tension had just ended and Boston could now go about their daily activities feeling a little bit safer. But that feeling of safety could not just wipe away the pain others were going through. It was not just physical pain but the emotional pain of losing a loved one. The healing process for some people was going to be a long journey. The lives of people had been changed forever by the cowardly act of two brothers. I used to think that certain things could not happen in certain places but this incident changed my perception. It proved to me that nowhere is safe. It also changed the way I viewed the world and showed me the opportunity I have to be alive. Being close to death made me realize that I had taken life for granted and that I had to use the opportunity of being alive to make a positive impact in the society and in the lives of individuals by doing volunteer work or by defending people in my future profession as a lawyer.


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