For Missourinet reporter, Boston Marathon bombings are personal (AUDIO)

Mary Farucci graduated from Emerson College in Boston in 2012. For her, watching the tragic events unfold online and in the news hit very close to home…

Today’s Boston Marathon explosion is a tragedy that I never expected would happen to a city I grew to love and a place where I felt so at home.
As a native New Yorker, I was always proud of the city I like to say I was born into, but Boston holds a very special place in my heart, as it had become my second home.
I attended Emerson College, right in the heart of the city. On Boylston Street, where the events of the explosion took place earlier this afternoon, I also used to live on that street. My home for the last two years was Boylston Street. My school where I spent much of my time was on Boylston Street. My life in college was Boylston Street. I can’t even begin to say how many times I have walked up and down Boylston Street, but it was a lot, and enough for me to have the entire avenue mapped out in my head to this day. I know Boylston Street as I remembered it when I left it a week after I graduated college last spring. It’s still how I would like to remember it. The reality is, it doesn’t look like that anymore, and not how I remember it. It looks chaotic, catastrophic, and that’s not how I remembered Boston to be.
My eyes quickly began to swell with tears as I started getting alerts on my cell phone earlier today. That was bad, because I was out on assignment. Journalists are not supposed to have emotions, but I had many over this. I just couldn’t believe it. It didn’t seem real, this couldn’t happen to MY city, MY second home.
It’s hard to imagine that exactly one year ago, I was standing at that finish line where the bombs detonated. I knew the exact location of where they went off. Believe it or not, I still have photos and a video I had filmed of last year’s marathon. It was a nice reflection of happy times during the spring in Boston. The marathon is a very big deal to the city. At the same time, it was also a solemn reminder of the events that transpired earlier today.
It boggled my mind because of how well I know and familiar I am with the area. What was once a peaceful New England city, and much different than my native New York, suddenly turned into a war zone. Images popping up on the television and on the internet of people wounded, covered in blood, screaming for help, witnesses talking about how much blood and bodies were laying on the street and the sidewalk, and many others missing their lower extremities… I just can’t imagine the horror these people felt, and yet, all I could think about was how I wish I was there, and how I’m glad I wasn’t.
I immediately began texting anyone I knew that was still in the Boston area asking if they were all right. My friends, former neighbors, my sorority sisters, thankfully, were all safe and away from the explosion. Unfortunately, I have gotten word that some young ladies of another sorority at Emerson that my sorority is close with were injured. The severity of their injuries is unknown to me.
The day wore on and the events of the tragedy sunk in more and more, but it made me realize that my Boston is a tough, resilient city. The response from EMS workers, police officers, bystanders lending a hand, and staying calm through the panic was incredible to watch. They were quick on the scene to give those who were injured the help and care they needed.
I don’t know if the Boston Marathon will ever be the same again, but I’d like to think in my mind, it’s exactly how I left it. I know Boston will come together and support one another and become a stronger city because of it. My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims, their families, the runners, the spectators during this horrific time. If I know Boston as well as I know I do, I know it will overcome this, it will pull through. That’s the Boston way.

AUDIO: Mary Farucci interviews Kassie King from O’Fallon, Mo., a sophomore at Emerson College in Boston, about life downtown the day after the tragic bombings (12:20)

–Mary Farucci, Missourinet

A better new state motto

The legislature passed a resolution this year urging the use of “The Great Rivers State” as our state motto. Senator John Lamping of St. Louis came up with this idea, apparently feeling “Show Me State” is no longer adequate.

It was not a law, just a resolution. It doesn’t mandate the new motto. It just suggests it. But Senator Lamping might have been trumped by the New York Times and its website, which has declared Missouri is the favorite state for camping among the people who responded to the website’s survey. We finished ahead of Montana and Colorado. New Mexico and New York got honorable mentions.

The Times praises Missouri for having “hundreds of conservation and natural areas, 49 state parks, the vast Mark Twain National Forest, the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, and the 225-mile Katy Trail, which is America’s longest rail-to-trail hiking/biking trail.” Then it comments, “If you can do it outdoors, you can do it in Missouri.”

Let us not overlook the compliment the great New York Times bestows on this part of fly-over country. Even though it’s an internet poll –which is hardly scientific– it’s a poll on the New York Times website, which would seem to us to attract a special demographic crowd. Anytime anything connected with New York recognizes there is a Missouri, let alone votes it number one for something is a cause for celebration.

But, look, folks — If we’re going to have a new state motto, let’s have one with some snap, some pizzazz, one that plants an indelible image in the mind of those who see it. What’s going to cause the biggest buzz when somebody sees a motto on a license plate? The Great Rivers State? Ummmm, that’s probably not going to cause much imaginative thinking when somebody sees it on a Missouri license plate.

But if you’re a motorist behind a Missouri vehicle and you see, “If you can do it outdoors, you can do it in Missouri,” you’re likely to smile and think about that for several miles.