BY MAUREEN MOLLAHAN
The bombings in Boston rocked the East Coast last week. Such a surreal event reminded all of us of September 11, and also of the Times Square bombing attempt almost three years ago.
It connected people across the country and all over the world. The runners in the London Marathon wore black ribbons in honor of their fellow marathoners. On Monday, there was silence across Boston at the exact minute the bombs went off in memoriam. Still, there are people shook up about what happened.
Rockland native Tim Lagos was a spectator at marathon. A college freshman at Boston University, he went down to the marathon to watch, just as many others did on Patriot’s Day, a holiday in Boston.
Tim was did not suffer any abrasions due to the bombs, although he calculates that he must have been about 30 feet from the first blast. “It was chaos. People were running, there was smoke everywhere,” he said, remembering the view minutes after the bombs had exploded. After the first bomb, Tim ran in the opposite direction, trying to get away. He said that he was unsure of what the noise and smoke were at first. “I thought they were fireworks,” he said.
But it was clear after the second incident only a block away, that it was not fireworks. Although Tim was safe, he suffered a slight concussion and hearing problems after the blast. “I couldn’t hear out of one of my ears. It was ringing pretty badly,” stated Tim.
Tim said that the bomb trauma hasn’t scared him away from large or outdoor gatherings, but it has taught him to be more aware of his surroundings. When asked if he would attend the Boston Marathon in 2014, he laughed and said, “Yeah, I’ll go next year”.
Noreen Maloney, a New City native, was a runner in the marathon. Luckily, she finished eight minutes before the bombings and was down the finisher’s chute when the first bomb went off. “We were stretching when we heard the first bomb go off,” she recalled. Maloney had come from Georgia and ran with a friend. It was her first time running the Boston Marathon.
“People were saying, ‘Oh it could be a generator at the finish line,’ but by the second explosion, we could hear the sirens and we knew it was more than that,” Maloney said. She quickly borrowed a phone to call her family, who were at mile 26 and, luckily, on the opposite side of the street.
“It was bizarre to see runners going in the opposite direction,” said Maloney, recalling the images of runners escaping the blast. “But it was amazing how people remained calm.”
It wasn’t until she got back to her hotel room when she realized how lucky she really was. Maloney remembered how scary it was to see later that day, saying: “I saw it on TV and I all could think of was how lucky we were. Had we stopped longer during the marathon, or slowed down, [it could have been us]…We were very lucky”.
Although she says it’s “still kind of unbelievable,” she too has plans for going back to the marathon next year and run again. She stated that she would be proud to run it in 2014 “for those who didn’t get to cross the finish line.”
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