Ten years ago, April 15, 2013, unfolded as a sad, chaotic day in Boston. In the days that followed, authorities would track down the brothers responsible for the terror. But during the first day, the city was in shock, fearing and bracing for the possibility of further attacks.
Before the bombings, during my shift at Fox 25 News, I was prepared to edit uplifting stories about local and visiting marathon runners striving and competing in the world famous Boston Marathon. There were angles every local news station always covered year after year; the difficulty of approaching and conquering Heartbreak Hill, Team Hoyt, Dick Hoyt running and pushing his son, Rick, in his wheelchair once again for an incredible twenty-six miles.
It started as a lovely day of tradition and celebration for the region with the Patriots Day reenactment at Lexington Green, a morning Red Sox game at Fenway Park, and the main focus of the day – the runners and the spectators who cheered for them from the starting line in Hopkinton to Boylston Street, close to the Boston Public Library. And then it wasn’t. Two bombs went off near the finish line.
As all the local television stations scrambled for answers and went live with wall-to-wall coverage, I was tasked with viewing and compiling a narrative from several hours of footage and live programming and producing and editing an overview of the terrible day.
Boston was reeling and uncertain, grieving and overwhelmed. Later, we would learn of the victims lost that day, Martin Richard, Lingzi Lu, and Krystle Campbell. MIT police officer Sean Collier was murdered by the Tsarnaev brothers who attempted to steal his gun after their images were released by the FBI. A year afterwards, Boston Police Officer Dennis Simmonds would die from injuries sustained in a gun battle with the Boston bombers in Watertown.
We witnessed the resiliency of so many who overcame the injuries inflicted on their bodies and their psyches with pure courage and fortitude as well as the heroism and dedication of police officers and medical professionals. David Ortiz would give a speech that meant more to the city than all his Hall of Fame at-bats combined. Boston Strong would not just be coined as a phrase but instead spoken as a collective mantra of perseverance for the region. But during those first twenty-four hours in Boston, tranquility abruptly turned to tragedy.