I haven’t posted a blog post in a while. I realized that. Time and life has taken over and every time I logged in to start typing a post, I would stop and work on something or do something else instead. I never got around to finishing my blog post about the NASPA Conference in Orlando that happened in March. I hope to eventually get that done and posted. It will probably be shorter than usual.
Anyway, April was stressful. There was about 4 weeks of school left and tons of papers and projects to finish up. There were many presentations to prepare for and this semester was just off in general to me. Well, then April 15th rolled around. I remember waking up and feeling extremely lazy. April 15th, 2013 was Patriot’s Day and the Boston Marathon. I remember wanting to finish a season of Mad Men so I stayed in bed. 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm. Time flew until I looked down and looked at a tweet my friend from Colorado sent me.
The tweet said something to the effect of, “Are you okay?”
I looked at it and seemed very confused because I was more than okay besides the laziness I had conjured up that day. Then, I looked at my other notifications on my phone and Facebook posts about a bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, which is about a 20 minute walk from my place.
All I could think was, “WHAT?”
I quickly got up from my bed and went to my living room to see all the news coverage and helicopter footage of the scene. Soon after, phone videos of the explosions. Pure and utter chaos here in the city I call home and feel more familiar with now than California. You can bet that my eyes were now glued to the TV and not on any of the projects and papers I expected to get done on what was my day off from school and a day that is usual fun for people from all around the world.
The next couple days were pretty grim. Some schools remained closed, business could not open, and part of Boylston Street was barricaded. On Thursday night, photos of two suspects caught on camera leaving bags and walking from the blast sites were released by the FBI and were circulated far and wide so that the general public could help find these men. Then, hours passed and I got home from school and turned on Glee to get my mind off of the long day. Once it was over, I switched the DVR to regular TV and noticed Breaking News from the MIT/Cambridge area about a policeman who was shot and later pronounced dead.
What was happening?
Well, this ended up being an all night ordeal as a chain of events led us to Watertown, MA, which is just west of Cambridge. A firefight broke out and people were ordered to stay in. Apparently, a bomb (that didn’t explode) was thrown at police officers. One suspected was cornered, but before anything else could happen, the other suspect (brother) ran over him and took off.
After an entire night and day of being part of a city-wide lock down, the lock down was lifted. Minutes after, a man reported seeing blood on his boat and saw one of the suspects hiding in the boat. Then, eventually, the suspected was apprehended.
People took the streets and celebrated the Boston Police Department for all the work they did throughout the week and those 24 hours.
Now, the city is recovering. Boylston Street has since been reopened, but it’s such a grim feeling to know such tragic events took place. I think what we are left with is a more unified city and at least for me, a feeling of gratitude that I can live another day and that the people around me and the people I know are safe. I had too many friends who were in the area of the finish line who had narrowly missed the explosions because they couldn’t get to the area due to the crowds of people or they decided to leave the area for whatever reason. For that, I can be thankful that they were not there. But for many, they were unlucky to be in the area and many people’s lives are forever changed because of the tragic events of the Boston Marathon bombings.
A lot of new information is now coming out about what happened and what was planned further from this event. I think it’s just so eerie and chilling to know that something like this could happen here, but it shows a grim reality too that things like this happen all around the world. So, for that, I can say that we are lucky that bombings are not an everyday think in America.
Since this event, I have read some really inspiring scholarship applications that discussed experiencing bombings in Iraq. I discovered a show on HBO called Vice that had an episode that featured young children and teenagers who are now discussing how they were convinced that they should be suicide bombers and were brainwashed to think they would be safe after a bomb detonates on them. It made me think about what happened here and once again I felt extremely lucky that bombings are not a regular thing in the US.
I think all in all, I can only be grateful for where I am and for my own safety.
So, with this, you can imagine that April was just a time warp and was sort of mess. I think I lost a lot of sleep and rest during the last couple of weeks of April, which I am totally still feeling now. I have had to deal with some trying experiences, but I think this has been a new experience.
Walking to the site of the bombings and Copley Square to see the memorial rebuilds my faith in humanity. Seeing the countless Boston items, marathon running shoes, hats, notes, letters, pictures, and other countless things as a memorial is just really awesome to see.
I think it will be awhile til life returns to some state of normalcy.
Sorry if this blog post is a random collection of thoughts, because it is! To add to the randomness, one day after the bombings, I was called up by CNN to work the “Breaking News” coverage. I met John King and Wolf Blitzer and told Anderson Cooper what kind of pizza options he had from Uppercrust.
Seriously, I’m not joking. I wish I was. But, it’s always a good experience.