Boston’s Marathon in Seconds Turns to Madness
written by Councilor Bill Linehan
I was standing on the photo bridge overlooking the finish line of the Boston Marathon taking pictures with my cell phone. Having run the race 5 times it was such a treat to be above it all. As I descended the bridge stairs, heading to meet friends at Abe and Louie’s, a powerful blast went off. At first I thought it was a dozen muskets of a Patriot reenactment, but the crowd noise did not subside, but began to grow and the high pitch of screams were apparent, and our beautiful Boston day turned bad, very bad. From my location, I heard a second blast, shaking everybody’s psyche and panic set in, non-runners began to run, push and shove. First responders were there in mass, and moved to those hurt, fleeing spectators started to crash the course behind the finish line, what seemed to be the beginning of a stampede, but fortunately race officials and BAA volunteers trained in crowd control steered the masses to the proper exits and calmed folks down. This horrific day, I am afraid, could have been even worse, if not for all who helped.
I, along with several of my colleagues, were asked to leave the area for our safety so as to let the first responders do their work. Within minutes, additional ambulances, police and firefighters were entering the Marathon venue on Boylston Street from Dartmouth, to treat the injured and lock down the area. The response was amazing both in speed and in abundance.
I want to recognize all the Police, Firefighters, EMS and BAA volunteers who heroically tended to the injured, secured the scene, and kept everyone calm to disperse the crowd without further injury, all while the threat of further explosions was still uncertain. In the face of uncertain danger, these professionals and volunteers reacted immediately. Their preparation and quick reactions saved lives that day. Many of the first responders on site at that moment were police, EMS, firefighters and race volunteers who are also our neighbors and friends.
My deepest sympathies go out to the family and friends of those who lost their lives. My prayers go out to all those injured in the blast, and I wish them a most speedy recovery. Today, sadness has set in now that we are dealing with the aftermath of such a terrible day in Boston’s history. I forwarded my photos to the authorities and hope if you were there you will do the same.
Many of our neighbors and friends were in the spectator stands and along the route from the finish line back to areas close to the blasts and potentially could have seen something important or troublesome. If you have information or need some counseling or assistance please call my office.
Boston City Councilor (617-635-3203)