The city of Boston was on lockdown until about 8 p.m. Friday, when reports flashed across the television news that “Suspect No. 2” had been found. After a grueling day-long manhunt, the Boston Police finally found him. Dzhokar Tsarnaev, 19, was severely injured in a boat in someone’s backyard in Watertown, Mass. Tsarnaev was quickly taken into custody and remains in the same Boston hospital now where many of his bombing victims lay in serious or critical condition. His fate remains unknown, but he could face the death penalty.
Reports have been coming in that he was brainwashed by his older brother, Tamerlan, who was killed in a shootout with police early Friday morning. It’s also said that the younger Tsarnaev ran over his brother with a car he was driving to flee from police. The rest of that day, Boston remained in lockdown mode, not one movement in sight. Very untypical of hustle and bustle Boston, however, once it was confirmed that he was found, people left their homes and celebrated his capture, their Boston victory.
I spoke with a gentleman from Arnold, Mo. Greg, a graduate of Southeast Missouri State University and a runner in this year’s Boston Marathon, is now a permanent resident of Boston. He had a difficult time recounting the events that took place Monday, as I imagine many would. Though there was one thing that he said had stuck out in my mind and reminded me once again that Boston is a tough city. This was Greg’s first time running in the marathon. He’s previously been in eight before qualifying to run in the Boston Marathon, but he said that Monday’s tragedy won’t stop him from running again. He said he has no plans of stopping. That was inspiring. The resilience and the spirit of the people of Boston continue to keep me awestruck.
Greg shared how he finished the marathon more than an hour before the blasts. He says he was far away from where it happened on Boylston Street, but that from where he was standing, he could see the blasts and knew something was very, very wrong. He adds that unfortunately, he knew a lot of people who had crossed the finish line at the four hour mark — the same time the bombs detonated, and many others who didn’t get a chance to finish the race.
Greg says that’s devastating. He says as a runner, training for many months, preparing for a major race and then not being able to finish is heartbreaking. But he remains hopeful, and despite the tragic events, he believes even more people will try to run in next year’s marathon, including many who have never run a marathon before. His philosophy is this: If we live in fear, they win. We can’t let them win. We can’t live in fear. The runners come from a tight-knit community. They will keep running and they will not be stopped from doing what they love. He calls that a victory for the marathon and the city of Boston.
Another tragedy happened last week that has been overshadowed by the Boston bombings: A fertilizer plant in West Texas, exploded, killing 14 and injuring 200. There was minimal news coverage on something that would normally take precedence in the news. Generally, if there are more fatalities, it becomes a higher priority of news coverage. Because of the situation in Boston, it overshadowed the devastation of West, and those 14 families that unfortunately lost loved ones. I’ve had talks with many about this. And really, it all just boils down to one thing that sticks out in my mind: You don’t mess with the United States. In numbers, the fertilizer plant explosion caused more casualties, but the twin bombings in Boston were an act of terrorism… and we just LOVE to go after the bad guys. Very um, American, I suppose. We need to raise our guns to prove once again how tough we are. (And by guns, I mean our arms… no, not those, physical arms.) We need to raise our “guns” to show our strength, and show off to the world why we’re the No. 1 superpower on this earth.
It’s no surprise to me how in such a time of anguish, there’s always something positive to bring to light. There are many people who are looking to reach out and help the victims of the Boston Tragedy, or the West Texas tragedy, but may not know where to donate. Here are a few I’d recommend to those who would like to show some support. https://wearebostonstrong.org/index.html and https://onefundboston.org/
Mary Farucci is a reporter for Missourinet and is a 2012 graduate of Emerson College in Boston, Mass.