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On April 15, 2013, two bombs go off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three spectators and wounding more than 260 other people in attendance. Four days later, after an intense manhunt that shut down the Boston area, police captured one of the bombing suspects, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev; his older brother and fellow suspect, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, died following a shootout with law enforcement earlier that same day.
The 117th Boston Marathon began in the morning from Hopkinton, Massachusetts, with some 23,000 participants. At around 2:49 that afternoon, with more than 5,700 runners still in the race, two pressure cooker bombs hidden in backpacks exploded within seconds of each other near the finish line along Boylston Street. Three people died: a 23-year-old woman, a 29-year-old woman and an 8-year-old boy. Among the scores of others who were injured, more than a dozen people required amputations.
On the evening of April 18, the FBI released photos of two male suspects sought in connection with the bombings. That night at around 10:30, Sean Collier, a 26-year-old police officer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was shot dead in his patrol car on the school’s Cambridge campus. Authorities would eventually link the murder to the Tsarnaev brothers, who spent parts of their childhoods in the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan but had lived in the United States for about a decade prior to the bombings. Soon after Officer Collier was killed, Tamerlan Tsarnaev carjacked an SUV, taking the driver hostage and telling him he was one of the Boston Marathon bombers.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev followed behind in a smaller car before joining his older brother and the hostage in the SUV. The brothers drove around the Boston area with their hostage, forcing him to withdraw money from an ATM and discussing driving to New York City. When they stopped at a Cambridge gas station, the hostage escaped and called police, informing them the SUV could be tracked by his cellphone, which was still in the vehicle. Shortly after midnight, a gun battle broke out between the Tsarnaevs and police on a street in the Boston suburb of Watertown. One officer was seriously injured by gunfire but survived. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, also seriously wounded, was taken to a hospital, where doctors tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate him. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev managed to drive away from the shootout in the stolen SUV before abandoning it nearby and fleeing on foot.
That day, April 19, the Boston area was on lockdown, with schools closed, public transportation service suspended and people advised to stay inside their homes, as police conducted door-to-door searches in Watertown and military-style vehicles patrolled the streets. That evening, after police called off their search of the area, a Watertown man went outside to check on a boat he was storing in his backyard. When he looked inside the 24-foot vessel, he was startled to see blood and a person, who turned out to be Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, hiding there. Police soon arrived and took the suspect, who was wounded from the earlier gun battle, into custody.
At the time of the bombings, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was a sophomore at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, while Tamerlan Tsarnaev was a community college dropout and former amateur boxer with a wife and child. Investigators believe the Tsarnaevs were motivated by extremist Islamic beliefs but planned and carried out the bombings on their own and were not connected to any terrorist organizations. The brothers allegedly used the Internet to learn how to build explosives.
In July 2013, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev pleaded not guilty to the 30 federal charges against him, including the use of a weapon of mass destruction. He went on trial in January 2015, and was found guilty on all 30 counts. He was sentenced to death but appealed the decision. Tsarnaev is currently being held at a supermax prison in Colorado.
READ MORE: The Boston Marathon Bombing
Boston marks 8 years since marathon bombing that killed 3
BOSTON (AP) - Boston marked eight years since the bombing at the 2013 Boston Marathon killed three people and injured scores of others on Thursday with quiet moments of reflection and small acts of kindness.
Acting Mayor Kim Janey visited fire stations that had been critical in the response to the attack, as well as the memorials marking the spots where the two pressure cooker bombs detonated near the downtown finish line of the storied race.
Church bells tolled to mark a citywide moment of silence at 2:49 p.m., the time when the first bomb detonated, followed seconds later by the second explosion a few hundred yards away.
Janey observed the moment outside city hall. The city’s first female and Black mayor then joined Gov. Charlie Baker to lay a wreath at the site where 29-year-old Krystle Campbell, 23-year-old Lingzi Lu, and 8-year-old Martin Richard died.
The city marks each April 15 with “ One Boston Day,” a day where acts of kindness and service are meant to honor victims, survivors and first responders.
Janey and others encouraged Bostonians to make more modest gestures this year, as the large community service projects that had become a hallmark of the day were cancelled for another year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“I hope you’ll join us to spread kindness however you can, whether that means donating to a charity responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting a small business in your neighborhood, or checking in on an older neighbor,” the mayor said in a statement. “The positive impact we can achieve together is more important than ever as we ensure that the City of Boston reopens safely and equitably, with recovery and renewal in every neighborhood.”
The U.S. Supreme Court last month said it’ll consider reinstating the death sentence against marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev after a federal appeals court tossed out the penalty last summer.
Tsarnaev and his older brother, Tamerlan, also fatally shot MIT Police Officer Sean Collier in Cambridge in the ensuring manhunt.
The Boston Marathon is traditionally held on the third Monday of April, a holiday known as Patriots Day in Massachusetts. It was held virtually last year and has been moved to October this year because of the ongoing pandemic.
'A loud boom . then glass everywhere'
Wounded people were taken to the medical tent that had originally been set up to treat weary runners. One of the victims included a Boston police officer seen being wheeled away from the scene with a bleeding leg. Cherie Falgoust, who was waiting for her husband to finish the race, said: "I was expecting my husband any minute. I don't know what this building is … it just blew. Just a big bomb, a loud boom, and then glass everywhere. Something hit my head. I don't know what it was. I just ducked."
Dennis Crowley, the founder of social media company Foursquare, was running in the race. He used Twitter to reassure family and friends that he was safe. His cousin witnessed the explosion and was "shaken but OK. FYI no one at mi 26 has any idea what's happening," he tweeted.
Crowley said cell phone service had been swamped by worried callers, mobile batteries were running out and runners were struggling to get through to their friends and relatives.
Doctors treating the 29 patients brought to Massachusetts General Hospital after Monday's blasts were seeing "a lot of shrapnel injuries", said Peter Fagenholz, a trauma surgeon.
Many of the most seriously wounded had sustained damage to their lower limbs, he said. Several of the patients had traumatic amputations and at least one patient had a shattered eardrum, Fagenholz said.
It was too early to say "how everybody is going to do" and a number of the patients would need repeated surgery in the coming days. Fagenholz added: "They're pretty brave, you know? It's a terrible thing and most patients' attitude is just 'Do what you have to do and try to make me better.'"
A spokesman for the White House said the administration was in contact with state and local authorities, with White House officials instructed to provide whatever assistance was necessary in the investigation and response.
Security was stepped up in New York City, with the NYPD's critical response vehicles being deployed, though it was not clear whether the move was a routine precaution or based on any specific intelligence.
In Boston there were accounts that the windows of a local restaurant were blown out. Security was stepped up in hotels and public buildings throughout the city.
Chris Cassidy, a reporter with the Boston Herald who was taking part in the marathon, said he saw two explosions, accompanied by a loud bang and then smoke rising. "I kept running and I heard behind me a loud bang. It looked like it was in a trash can or something. That one was in front of Abe and Louie's. There are people who have been hit with debris, people with bloody foreheads."
Among the injured was Dean Smith, who had been standing close to the second blast site to watch his 27-year-old son finish the race. Both he and his son suffered minor injuries. "It felt like it was right there," he told the Guardian as he left hospital on Monday night, pointing to his car two feet away. "It was really close. My wife said I flew five feet."
Smith sustained a minor shrapnel wound to his right calf. His back was also injured and both his eardrums burst, he said. His son was expected to make a full recovery, he added.
Shaan Gandhi, a medical student at Massachusetts General Hospital, said the hospital was working flat out to take care of the injured. "It's supposed to be a really happy day," he said. "It's supposed to be a really quiet day and then this all happens."
He said he had seen a patient with severe leg injuries. "We were just trying to stop the bleeding as much as possible and try to save his life," Gandhi said. "I've never seen something like this."
This year's Boston Marathon, the 117th annual race in the city, was being staged in commemoration of the Newtown school shooting, in which 20 young children and six educators were killed in December. The finishing mile was dedicated to the victims of Newtown.
This article was amended on 18 April 2013. The original said this year's Boston Marathon was the 177th annual race in the city.
[3/31/21] – Boston Marathon Bomber’s Case to be Heard by the Supreme Court Next Term
The United States Supreme Court, on Monday, March 22 nd , announced that it will hear Boston bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s case and that it will consider reinstating the death penalty.
In 2013, Tsarnaev and his brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, detonated two homemade pressure cooker bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The bombs killed three people and injured hundreds of others. While the older Tsarnaev was killed in the days following the bombing, the younger Tsarnaev was subsequently charged and received six death sentences and eleven concurrent life sentences in 2015. In July 2020, the six death penalty sentences were thrown out by a panel of three judges on the 1 st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals who ruled that the trial judge in the case had not properly questioned the prospective jurors about their exposure to the pretrial media coverage. The Department of Justice, under former President Trump, appealed the ruling not long after the Circuit Court’s decision, leading to the Court’s decision this month to hear the case. Although, the Supreme Court is expected to hear the case next term, which begins in October 2021, the outcome of the case is likely to be contentious as it is unclear how President Biden and his administration will approach the case. Tsarnaev had been sentenced to death when President Biden served as Vice President under the Obama administration. However, President Biden, while on the campaigntrail, promised to abolish the federal death penalty and to encourage states to follow suit. In a press briefing on the day of the Supreme Court’s announcement, White House Press Secretary, Jen Psaki, stated that President Biden had “grave concerns” about the implementation of the death penalty, but that “he also expressed his horror at the ends of that day and Tsarnaev’s actions.” Psaki further stated that she had no updates on the Biden administration’s stance on the case.
Instructors, click on the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom.
The deck contains a writing prompt, a debate question, as well as other assessment questions.
AP Photo/Elise Amendola
Andrew Collier, left, puts his hand on his brother, Robert, after delivering the eulogy at a memorial service for their brother, slain Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus officer, Sean Collier, at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, April 24, 2013.
3 killed, more than 140 hurt in Boston Marathon bombing
[Update, 11:05 a.m. ET] This post is no longer being updated. For Tuesday's coverage, please read this story.
[Update, 6:46 a.m. ET] Overnight, President Barack Obama received updates from his assistant for homeland security and counterterrorism Lisa Monaco on the ongoing response efforts and investigation into the explosions in Boston, including the continuing federal support for those activities, a White House official said, according to CNN's Lesa Jansen. The president made clear that he expects to be kept up to date on any developments and directed his team to make sure that all federal resources that can support these efforts, including the investigation being led by the FBI, be made available, the official said.
[Update, 4:32 a.m. ET] President Hamid Karzai expressed grief over the civilian casualties caused by two bomb explosions near the Boston Marathon on Monday.
Denouncing the terrorist attacks in the strongest possible terms, President Karzai said, “Having suffered from terrorist attacks and civilian casualties for years, our people feel better the pain and suffering arising from such incidents.”
President Karzai offers condolences and sympathies to the families of the victims and the people of the United States of America.
[Update, 4:27 a.m. ET] A huge wave of strangers is greeting the many visitors stranded by the Boston Marathon bombings with a massive outpouring of support. "We figure this is the least we can do," said Heather Carey, who offered a couch at the home near Boston University she shares with roommates. "I saw a website with many others offering their spaces like we did. It is awesome to see so many people helping."
The twin blasts Monday that left three dead and more than 140 wounded also left countless people without shelter. Investigators turned the heart of Boston into a crime scene, evacuating several hotels. This left dozens of visitors - some of them international runners unfamiliar with the area - stranded.
By Monday evening, pleas were posted on several websites.
"Me and my friends lost our phone after the explosion," a woman posted on Reddit. "We are visiting from Korea so our English be not very good. My friend is in the hospital now and they say we can not stay over night in hospital."
Another woman posted: "I have nowhere to go."
Quickly, the online cries for help were answered. Websites were flooded with Bostonians offering aid. Even though it was unclear how many people were helped, by early Tuesday morning a Facebook page set up for victims listed more than 100 people offering rooms and rides.
[Update, 4:09 a.m. ET] The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: "The bombings in Boston are shocking, cowardly and horrific, and the thoughts of all Londoners this morning will be with the victims. Boston is a proud City built on history, tradition and a real sense of community. These attacks were aimed at its core, at innocent men, women and children enjoying a Spring day out at a major sporting event. We do have robust security measures in place for Sunday's London Marathon, but given events in Boston it's only prudent for the police and the organisers of Sunday's race to re-examine those security arrangements."
[Update, 3:35 a.m. ET] The identity of the child killed in Monday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon is 8-year-old Martin Richard, according to The Boston Globe. The newspaper also reported residents in Dorchester gathered at a local restaurant to remember the child Monday night.
[Update, 3:22 a.m. ET] Dr. Ron Walls of Brigham and Women's Hospital, which received 31 patients, said the debris found in some patients' wounds did not appear to be from ball bearings.
"Everything we saw was sort of ordinary ambient material that could have been propelled by the blast but was not added to the device," Walls said. "It was not the kind of things that would be added to a device to make it more injurious than it otherwise would be."
At Massachusetts General Hospital, several patients suffered from injuries to lower limbs that will require "serial operations" in the coming days, trauma surgeon Peter Fagenholz said Monday night.
He said the most serious wounds "have been combined, complex lower injuries that involve blood vessels, bone and tissue."
[Update, 2:56 a.m. ET] Chief Superintendent Julia Pendry, event commander for the London Marathon, said: "A security plan is in place for the London Marathon. We will be reviewing our security arrangements in partnership with London Marathon."
[Update, 2:15 a.m. ET Tuesday] At least 17 people are reported to still be in critical condition. The full horror of Monday's bomb attacks in Boston was reflected in emergency rooms across the city as doctors were forced to perform amputations and treat injuries normally expected on a battlefield.
[Update, 11:41 p.m. ET Monday] Stephen Segatore, a nurse who was at the medical tent near the finish line for the Boston Marathon, said emergency responders immediately went into mass-casualty mode.
"We had full trauma response at the scene," he told CNN. "We had physicians, nurses who are experienced in trauma care. We had EMTs and it was a full Level 1 trauma experience."
Segatore said he treated at least 25 people as those experienced in trauma care stepped forward while others treated people with minor injuries.
[Update, 11:35 p.m. ET] Saudi ambassador to the United States Adel Al-Jubeir condemned the bombings in Boston and offered his condolences to victims' families.
“What occurred today in Boston is a heinous crime which contradicts the values of humanity.” he said.
[Update, 10:52 p.m. ET] The total of injured has risen to 144 people, officials at Boston area hospitals said. That includes three additional patients at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
[Update, 10:41 p.m. ET] A law enforcement source in Boston tells CNN that investigators have a "number of active leads, and some good early progress in the forensics analysis."
[Update, 10:07 p.m. ET] Dr. Peter Fagenholz told reporters that there were 29 wounded people at Massachusetts General Hospital, eight of whom were in critical condition. Many of the people had shrapnel injuries to their lower extremites, he said.
"We have performed several amputations," he said.
There were no pediatric patients among the wounded, he said.
[Update, 9:38 p.m. ET] Dr. Allan Panter, who was near the finish line waiting for his wife who was running the race, told CNN he was standing about 20 to 25 feet from the first blast. He said he treated victims on the street after the explosion.
"I saw at least six to seven people down next to me," he said. "They protected me from the blast. One lady expired. One gentleman lost both his (lower) limbs. Most of the injuries were lower extremities. I could not figure out why the young lady had expired. I could not find any injury on her thorax."
[Update, 9:28 p.m. ET] Bill Iffrig, seen in video wearing an orange tank top and being blown over as he approached the finish line, told CNN's Piers Morgan that he was feeling OK after the blast.
"I got down to within about 15 feet of the finishing apron and heard just tremendous explosion, sounded like a bomb went off right next to me, and the shock waves just hit my whole body and my legs just started jittering around," he said. "I knew i was going down and so i ended up down on the blacktop."
Iffrig, 78, said he was assisted by one of the event volunteers, who helped him up so he could finish the race. After that, the worker looked for aid for Iffrig, who had just a scratch from his fall.
"He insisted on getting a wheelchair over there so we started to do that, but then before that was rounded up, i said my hotel's about six blocks away so I think I can make it okay. So they let me get out of there and I went on home to my wife."
[Update, 8:55 p.m. ET] A Saudi national with a leg wound was under guard at a Boston hospital in connection with the bombings at the Boston Marathon, but investigators cannot say he is involved at this time and he is not in custody, a law enforcement official said Monday evening.
[Update, 8:54 p.m. ET] Three people were killed in the bombings, Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis told reporters Monday night, raising the toll by one.
[Update, 8:52 p.m. ET] The FBI is taking the lead in the investigation, Rick DesLauriers, FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Boston field office, told reporters.
[Update, 8:44 p.m.ET ] The Boston Celtics home game against the Indiana Pacers, originally scheduled for Tuesday, was canceled, the NBA announced. With the regular season almost at its end, the contest will not be made up.
[Update, 8:36 p.m. ET] Investigators have warned law enforcement officers to be on the lookout for a "darker-skinned or black male" with a possible foreign accent in connection with Monday's bombings at the Boston Marathon, according to a law enforcement advisory obtained by CNN.
The man was seen with a black backpack and sweatshirt and was trying to get into a restricted area about five minutes before the first explosion, the lookout notice states.
[Update, 8:35 p.m.] Hospital workers have treated 141 people after the Boston Marathon bombings, officials at those facilities said Monday night. Two people died in the terror attack, including an 8-year-old boy, a state law enforcement source said.
[Update, 8:32 p.m.] A statement has been issued by the race organizers: "The Boston Athletic Association extends its deepest sympathies to all those who were affected in any way by todays events.
"Today is a sad day for the City of Boston, for the running community, and for all those who were here to enjoy the 117th running of the Boston Marathon. What was intended to be a day of joy . and celebration quickly became a day in which running a marathon was of little importance.
"We can confirm that all of the remaining runners who were out on the course when the tragic events unfolded have been returned to a community meeting area.
"At this time, runners bags in Boston which remain unclaimed may be picked up by runners presenting their bib number or proof of race participation at the Castle, at 101 Arlington Street, in Boston.
"At this time, we are cooperating with the City of Boston, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and all federal law enforcement officials.
"We would like to thank the countless people from around the world who have reached out to support us today."
[Update, 7:57 p.m. ET] Doctors are "pulling ball bearings out of people in the emergency room," a terrorism expert briefed on the investigation told CNN's Deborah Feyerick.
The same source said the blasts resulted in at least 10 lost limbs.
[Update, 7:43 p.m. ET] An 8-year-old boy was among those killed, a state law enforcement source said, according to CNN's John King.
[Update, 7:38 p.m. ET] At least 132 people - including eight children - have been injured in the bombings, according to Boston-area hospitals. Boston police earlier said that two people were killed.
At least 17 of the injured are in critical condition, and at least 25 are in serious condition, area hospitals said.
[Update, 7:08 p.m. ET] A witness, Marilyn Miller, told CNN that she was about 30 feet away from the first bomb when it went off. The second bomb came about 12 seconds after and about 50 to 100 yards away from the first, according to authorities and an analysis of video from the site.
Miller was waiting for a runner who, it turns out, was probably about 10 minutes away from the finish line.
"We saw injuries all around us," Miller said. Someone was putting pressure on a woman's neck. "A little boy, his leg was torn up. A woman, (people) were (shouting), 'Critical, critical, get out of out way!'"
[Update, 6:51 p.m. ET] At least 110 people have been injured in the bombings, according to Boston-area hospitals.
[Update, 6:49 p.m. ET] Boston cell phone services were overloaded in the wake of the blast, slowing the city's network dramatically and hampering the investigation in the early going, federal law enforcement officials told CNN.
Unconfirmed rumors began circulating on social media and elsewhere that law enforcement had shut down cell service to prevent more explosives from being detonated remotely. But mobile companies were saying that was never the case, CNN's Doug Gross reports.
"Verizon Wireless has not been asked by any government agency to turn down its wireless service," a spokesman for that company told CNN. "Any reports to that effect are inaccurate."
In other media reports, Sprint similarly denied being asked to shut down service.
Online, Bostonians were being encouraged to stay off of their mobile phones except for emergencies and even open up their wireless connections to help take the load off of the cellular data network.
"If you live or run a business in #Boston near bombsite (please) open your wifi for people to use," tweeted Disaster Tech Lab, an Irish nonprofit dedicated to providing technology to assist in emergency situations.
[Update, 6:47 p.m. ET] Initial tests indicate that the two bombs were small and possibly crude, with the tests not indicating any high-grade explosive material was used, a federal law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation told CNN national security contributor and former homeland security adviser Fran Townsend.
The source said the FBI considers the incident a terrorist attack, "but they've made clear to me they do not know at this time whether those responsible for the attack were a foreign or domestic group," Townsend said.
A woman comforts another, who appears to have suffered an injury to her hand.
[Update, 6:35 p.m. ET] U.S. Rep. Bill Keating, D-Massachusetts, said an unexploded device was found at a hotel on Boylston Street, and another unexploded device was found at an undisclosed location.
Keating, who is a member of the House Homeland Security committee and has spoken to law enforcement sources, tells CNN's Dierdre Walsh that the incidents were a "sophisticated, coordinated, planned attack."
Runners who had not finished the race were stopped before the Massachusetts Avenue overpass on Commonwealth Avenue.
[Update, 6:14 p.m. ET] More from President Obama, who just wrapped up his brief statement at the White House: "We still do not know who did this or why . but make no mistake: We will get to the bottom of (this). We will find out who did this. We will find out why they did this. . Any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice."
[Update, 6:11 p.m. ET] President Barack Obama is speaking about the bombings now: “The American people will say a prayer for Boston tonight, and Michelle and I send out deepest thoughts and prayers to the victims," Obama said at the White House.
A man embraces a young girl after the attacks.
[Update, 5:59 p.m. ET] John Manis, an eyewitness in his 50s, was about 200 feet away from the finish line near the Prudential building when the bombings occurred. He felt the blast to the point that it made him and others around him jump in the air, and some others around him fell down on the ground, he said, according to CNN's Eden Pontz.
Manis said he heard two blasts about five seconds apart. He said there was confusion all around him, and he was hustled into the nearby Mandarin Hotel. Officials wouldn’t let them leave the hotel for a bit, and he says all who were there were all frisked by police. He said that when he left, he saw broken storefronts and lots of blood.
A man comforts a victim on the sidewalk at the scene of the first explosion.
[Update, 5:51 p.m. ET] President Barack Obama is expected to deliver a statement at about 6:10 p.m. ET from the White House.
A runner reacts near Kenmore Square after the two terrorist bombings near the Boston Marathon’s finish line.
[Update, 5:35 p.m. ET] Google has established a person-finder related to the Boston bombings. People who are looking for someone or have information about someone can make reports there.
[Update, 5:31 p.m. ET] Boston police now appear to be backing away from their commissioner's earlier statement that a third incident - at the JFK Library 5 miles from the finish line - might have been related to the Boston Marathon blasts.
On Twitter, Boston police say: "Update JFK incident appears to be fire related."
Update JFK incident appears to be fire related #tweetfromthebeat via @CherylFiandaca
&mdash Boston Police Dept. (@bostonpolice) April 15, 2013
An injured person is taken away from the scene.
[Update, 5:21 p.m. ET] Precautions are being taken at the White House because of the Boston explosions, CNN’s Jessica Yellin reports. See that in the video below, as well as Vice President Joe Biden's reaction to the incident:
[Update, 5:17 p.m. ET] In the video below, a man describes the initial blast, saying the impact was so strong it “almost blew my head off.” He was not injured, but saw many people sustain horrific injuries.
[Update, 5:15 p.m. ET] The Boston Globe is reporting a much higher injury count. They report that more than 100 people are being treated for injuries, citing local hospitals.
[Update, 5:10 p.m. ET] Hospitals now say they are treating as many as 51 wounded after the bombings. Two people have been killed, according to Boston police.
Emergency personnel respond to the scene after two explosions went off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday.
[Update, 5:09 p.m. ET] It will take a long time to clear the area, because lots of people dropped bags and whatever else they had when the finish-line blasts happened. Authorities have to check all of those bags, and bomb squads "may be blowing things up over the next few hours" out of precaution, Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said.
In the words of Boston Globe political reporter Cynthia Needham, on Twitter:
Side problem, according to commissioner: People running from scene dropped bags, and personal belongings in the street. All must be checked.
&mdash Cynthia Needham (@CynthiaNeedham) April 15, 2013
Thousands of runners still had yet to finish the race when the bombs exploded in a spectator area along Boylston Street near the finish line, CNN executive producer Matt Frucci at the scene.
[Update, 4:58 p.m. ET] New details from Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis:
- A third explosion happened at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library "about a half-hour ago." The library is about 5 miles southeast of the Boston Marathon finish line.
- Police don't immediately know whether that explosion is related to the two near the Boston Marathon finish line.
- The two blasts near the finish line - along Boylston Street near Copley Square - "happened 50 to 100 yards apart."
- "We're recommending to people that they stay home . and that they don't go anyplace and congregate in large crowds."
- Relatives of people who may be missing in the area can call the mayor's hotline at 617-635-4500.
- Anyone who has information about the bombings or saw anything suspicious can call 1-800-494-TIPS.
BPD asking people not to congregate in large crowds #tweetfromthebeat via @CherylFiandaca
&mdash Boston Police Dept. (@bostonpolice) April 15, 2013
[Update, 4:46 p.m. ET] Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick says “this is a horrific day in Boston."
"My thoughts and prayers are with those who have been injured," Patrick said in a statement released this afternoon. "I have been in touch with the president, Mayor Menino and our public safety leaders. Our focus is on making sure that the area around Copley Square is safe and secured. I am asking everyone to stay away from Copley Square and let the first responders do their jobs.”
A man lays on the ground after the explosions in Boston.
[Update, 4:45 p.m. ET] It appears that so many people are using cell phones in the center of Boston, consistent service is hard to get - and the overload is hampering the investigation, two federal law enforcement sources tell CNN.
A person who was injured in an explosion near the finish line of the Boston Marathon is taken away from the scene.
[Update, 4:40 p.m. ET] Another journalist says she saw victims who lost limbs. This account is from Boston Globe political reporter Cynthia Needham:
Outside MGH: Head of emergency medicine says 19 have been brought to MGH, six critically injured, some with amputations.
&mdash Cynthia Needham (@CynthiaNeedham) April 15, 2013
"Outside MGH: Head of emergency medicine says 19 have been brought to MGH, six critically injured, some with amputations," she posted to Twitter.
Earlier, we noted that Boston.com sports producer Steve Silva reported that he "saw dismemberment" and "blood everywhere."
[Update, 4:37 p.m. ET] Organizers with the London Marathon, scheduled for this coming Sunday, have taken notice.
"We are deeply saddened and shocked by the news from Boston," London Marathon officials said Monday. "Our immediate thoughts are with the people there and their families. It is a very sad day for athletics and for our friends and colleagues in marathon running. Our security plan is developed jointly with the Metropolitan Police and we were in contact with them as soon as we heard the news."
[Update, 4:30 p.m. ET] Boston firefighters have found what they believe is an unexploded device after the blasts, a government official said, according to CNN's Joe Johns.
Police officers with their guns drawn hear the second explosion down the street. The first explosion knocked down a runner at the finish line.
[Update, 4:27 p.m. ET] "I saw blood everywhere," Boston.com sports producer Steve Silva told Boston.com.
Silva told the news outlet that he was near the finish line when the explosions happened. He said he saw a number of injuries in the area where spectators were. He saw "someone lost their leg," and he said "people are crying, people are confused."
"It was just an explosion, it came out of nowhere," he said. "There are multiple injuries. I saw dismemberment, I saw blood everywhere. People are badly injured."
[Update, 4:19 p.m. ET] We have a new injury count: According to hospital officials, at least 28 people are being treated for injuries connected to this afternoon's blasts near the Boston Marathon finish line.
Nineteen were being treated at Massachusetts General and nine at Tufts Medical Center, officials at those facilities said. Boston police earlier put the number of victims at two dead and 22 hurt.
A person who was injured in an explosion near the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon is taken away from the scene in a wheelchair.
[Update, 4:16 p.m. ET] "People started scrambling, pushing, shoving" when the explosions happened in a sidewalk area along Boylston Street, near the finish line in the Copley Square area, says CNN executive producer Matt Frucci at the scene.
Frucci said he heard the blasts.
"After the dust settled, (I saw) six or seven people strewn about the area where the second (explosion) was.
Emergency personnel respond to the scene after two explosions went off near the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013.
[Update, 4:11 p.m. ET] A Red Cross website has been established to help people find loved ones in the area.
"Individuals can register themselves as safe or search for loved ones," Massachusetts' emergency management agency says.
[Update, 4:08 p.m. ET] At least two people have been killed and 22 are injured in the apparent bombings near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, Boston police say.
An explosion rips through a location near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
[Update, 4:02 p.m. ET] A Massachusetts General Hospital spokeswoman tells CNN 19 victims have been brought in.
[Update,3:57 p.m. ET] On their Twitter page, Boston marathon officials made this announcement: "There were two bombs that exploded near the finish line in today's Boston Marathon. We are working with law enforcement to understand what exactly has happened."
[Update, 3:53 p.m. ET] New York is taking precautions as a result of the explosions at the Boston Marathon.
In a written statement, New York Police Department Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne said: "We're stepping up security at hotels and other prominent locations in the city through deployment of the NYPD's critical response vehicles until more about the explosion is learned.
[Update, 3:45 p.m. ET] Paramedics were treating several victims at the scene, and police ordered onlookers to back away from the area. Troops from the Massachusetts National Guard were assisting police as well.
Onlooker Josh Matthews said he heard the blast, then saw police running toward the scene.
"We just heard a lot of sirens, and people were kind of frantic, and it was a bad situation, so we got out of there," he said.
[Update, 3:37 p.m.] Four victims of explosions near the Boston Marathon finish line are at the emergency room at Massachusetts General Hospital, a hospital spokeswoman told CNN. She had no information about the victims' conditions.
[Posted at 3:25 p.m. ET] A pair of explosions rocked the finish line at the Boston Marathon on Monday afternoon, injuring at least a half-dozen people, a CNN producer at the scene said.
The blasts occurred a few seconds apart, shrouding downtown Boston's Copley Square in smoke. Paramedics were treating several victims at the scene, and police ordered onlookers to back away from the area, CNN Producer Matt Frucci reported.
One of the victims, 8-year-old Martin Richard, was standing at the marathon finish line cheering on the runners with his family when the second bomb detonated on April 15, 2013. Martin was killed his sister Jane, an Irish dancer, lost her leg their mother, Denise, suffered brain injuries and blindness in one eye from shrapnel their father, Bill, lost some of his hearing.
In the weeks following the bombing, a widely circulated photo showed Martin holding a poster he'd made the year before with the message: "No more hurting people — peace."
Since the attack, the Richard family have embodied that message of peace and kindness despite the overwhelming tragedy they have had to endure.
In 2014, the family announced a charitable foundation in Martin’s honor. The mission of the Martin W. Richard Charitable Foundation is “to honor Martin’s message of ‘No more hurting people – peace’ by investing in education, athletics and community.”
“This foundation will be a legacy for Martin, allowing us to ‘pay it forward’ and make a difference in ways that would make him proud but also be a source of healing and purpose for us.”
Bill and Denise astonished many people when they asked that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the terrorist responsible for killing their son, be spared the death penalty, if only so their family wouldn't have to relive the tragedy through future appeals proceedings.
Last year they opened Martin’s Park, a wheelchair accessible playground near the Boston Children’s Museum.
At the park’s groundbreaking ceremony, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker said, “This park and all it stands for and represents, and the Martin Richard Foundation, and the Richard family, are about taking–perhaps the darkest and most terrible and horrific experience anybody could possibly imagine and finding light and hope and positivity and a future on which you can build something beautiful out of it. ”
For the five year anniversary of the bombings, Denise Richard wrote a piece for the Boston Globe on the importance of paying kindness forward.
“Perhaps we rely on the notion that we need life altering situations to make kindness matter. Kindness need not be displayed in random acts but with intent and purpose. Kindness is a vital part of the effort to foster a peaceful and just region, nation, and global community. Kindness supports human dignity and should be shared freely — neighbor to neighbor, block by block, until everyone is recognized as equal. Kindness is not boastful," she writes.
She says the Martin Richard Foundation “is a movement helping young people to learn, grow, and lead through volunteerism and community engagement. We look to advance sportsmanship, inclusion, kindness, and peace. By encouraging people to choose kindness, work for inclusion, and embrace diversity in local communities, we aim to influence a generation to build bridges of cultural understanding and deepen community and neighborhood connections.
“We challenge you to ‘Do More and Serve With Us.’ Our campaign invites people of all ages, abilities, religions, and ethnicities to get excited about volunteerism.”
She concludes: "It is a fitting tribute to Martin that his Foundation focuses on the belief of giving oneself to friends, family, and community as it is a concept that he embraced at a young age in his school, parish, and neighborhood association. Young and old are remarkable as individuals and even more so when united in a movement. Join our movement. Choose kindness. Build bridges. Do more.”
Five years after an evil act caused them untold devastation, the Richard family have courageously turned grief into hope and generosity for their community. An example for us all.
Attacks Like the Boston Bombing Are Nearly Unpreventable
The Boston Fire Department hazardous-materials team clean the blast site near the Boston Marathon finish line one week after the FBI handed over Boylston Street back to the city in Boston, on April 22, 2013.
When Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev decided to build the bombs that ultimately killed three and injured hundreds at the Boston Marathon, they had to do little more than a quick Google search and a shopping run, highlighting the near impossibility of preventing improvised explosive devices from being used in the U.S.
The brothers used a step-by-step guide printed in Inspire, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s magazine targeted at English-language speakers, according to law-enforcement officials. Issue 1, with the ominously titled section “Make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom,” is widely available on the Internet, hosted on dozens of servers in the U.S. and abroad — including the sites Cryptome.org and PublicIntelligence.net, the popular document-sharing service Scribd and the encyclopedic Archive.org.
The design itself is nothing new, published in the 1971 book The Anarchist Cookbook and the Army’s Improvised Munitions Handbook — the former has been available in most libraries for decades and the latter is freely available online. And the materials used — a pressure cooker, nails available in any hardware store, black powder from fireworks — are so ubiquitous that law enforcement can’t track them.
“You can buy pipes or pressure cookers anywhere,” said one federal law-enforcement official. “If you buy less than 50 lb. of black powder or fireworks, you don’t have to fill out paperwork. There are a lot of legitimate uses for these items and it’s impossible to monitor all of them.”
“Ninety-nine point nine percent of the people that are going to check that out or buy it are going to do it just because they are curious,” said Martin Reardon, vice president of the Soufan Group and a former chief of the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Operations Center. “They would never even consider making a weapon.”
The FBI and other law-enforcement agencies maintain a system of “trip wires” with businesses around the country designed to identify would-be bombers as they gather materials. After the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, they identified fertilizer and diesel fuel for monitoring, adding chemicals like hydrogen peroxide, model-rocket engines and remote-controlled vehicles to the voluntary program. The effort is seen both as an enforcement tool and as a deterrent. Attempted Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad, who received more-formal bombmaking training in Pakistan, built a larger and more complex explosive around a pressure-cooker bomb. But Shahzad told investigators after he was arrested that he used less powerful ingredients to avoid attracting law-enforcement attention. Tamerlan’s purchase of two “mortar” fireworks packages — which contain a relatively modest July 4 display of 48 shells — didn’t arouse suspicion. Law-enforcement officials found disassembled fireworks in a backpack allegedly belonging to Dzhokhar that was disposed of by his college friends.
Indeed as lawmakers in Washington have called for accountability after the Tsarnaevs slipped through the cracks, law enforcement and counterterrorism experts caution that IEDs of such simplicity may now be a fact of life in the U.S.
“You can’t shutdown the Internet, [and] no one wants to ban fireworks,” Reardon said. “It’s out there. The cat is out of the bag, and you can’t put it back in.”
Last week President Barack Obama issued a strong statement of support for the intelligence community, despite it having Tamerlan on their radar years before the attack.
“Based on what I’ve seen so far, the FBI performed its duties, the Department of Homeland Security did what it was supposed to be doing,” he said. Left unsaid was the growing belief that small-scale acts of terrorism are impossible to completely eliminate. “This is hard stuff,” Obama said. “One of the dangers that we now face are self-radicalized individuals who are already here in the United States — in some cases, may not be part of any kind of network … And those are in some ways more difficult to prevent.”
The American people appear to be internalizing that threat according to a TIME/CNN/ORC poll released last week. More than 60% of Americans believe terrorists will always find a way to carry out attacks, while just 32% — down from 40% two years ago — believe government can provide absolute security.
FBI officials wouldn’t comment on whether trip wires were in place at fireworks retailers in New Hampshire where Tamerlan purchased the fireworks because of the sensitivity of the matter.
“With the advent of the Internet — and with all these materials being legal to purchase — someone who wants to do harm can buy one thing at one store, another ingredient at another, and there’d be no way of knowing what happened until after the attack unless someone raised concerns to law enforcement or there being some other intelligence,” the law-enforcement official said.
“They’re crude, they’re simple, and they’re effective,” Reardon said. “You can’t stop them all the time — the question is how you respond to the threat. Do you crack down like Big Brother, or do you try to allow people to live their lives as normally as possible?”
Police: 3 dead in marathon blast
BOSTON -- Two bombs exploded in the crowded streets near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday, killing at least three people and injuring more than 150 in a bloody scene of shattered glass and severed limbs that raised alarms that terrorists might have struck again in the U.S.
Eight hospitals were treating the injured, of which at least 17 were in critical condition late Monday. An 8-year-old boy was one of the victims. He was identified as Martin Richard, according to ABC News' Boston affiliate WCVB and other reports. His mother and sister were badly injured.
A candle burned on the stoop of the family's single-family home in the city's Dorchester section Tuesday, and the word "Peace" was written in chalk on the front walkway.
Neighbor Betty Delorey says Martin loved to climb the neighborhood trees, and hop the fence outside his home.
The children's father, Bill, is the director of a local community group. The boy's mother, Denise, works at the Neighborhood House Charter School, where her children attend classes.
At the White House, President Barack Obama vowed Monday that those responsible will "feel the full weight of justice."
A senior U.S. intelligence official had said two other explosive devices were found near the end of the 26.2-mile course, but on Tuesday officials said that the only explosive devices were the two that exploded.
The injuries ranged from cuts and bruises to amputations. Many victims suffered lower leg injuries and shrapnel wounds. Some suffered ruptured eardrums.
A doctor at a hospital where victims were taken said an X-ray of one victim he saw showed what could be small ball bearings throughout the injury.
Dr. Stephen Epstein of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center said in an email to The Associated Press that the X-ray of a leg he saw has "what appears to be small, uniform round objects throughout it -- similar in the appearance to BBs."
He says exactly what the objects were remains to be determined.
Dr. Richard Wolfe, the emergency department chief at Beth Israel Deaconess, said Monday that one or two of the hospital's 21 patients faced a "high probability of mortality."
Runner Tim Davey, of Richmond, Va. said he and his wife, Lisa, tried to keep their children's eyes shielded from the gruesome scene inside a medical tent that had been set up to care for fatigued runners.
"They just started bringing people in with no limbs," he said, adding that his children "saw a lot."
"They just kept filling up with more and more casualties," Lisa Davey said. "Most everybody was conscious. They were very dazed."
There was no word on the motive or who may have launched the attack. Police said no suspect was in custody, although later Monday night a person of interest was being questioned, according to multiple reports. Authorities in Washington said there was no immediate claim of responsibility.
A White House official speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation was still unfolding said the attack was being treated as an act of terrorism.
WBZ-TV reported late Monday that law enforcement officers were searching an apartment in the Boston suburb of Revere. Massachusetts State Police confirmed that a search warrant related to the investigation into the explosions was served Monday night in Revere but provided no further details.
Some investigators were seen leaving the Revere house early Tuesday carrying brown paper bags, plastic trash bags and a duffel bag.
The twin blasts at the race took place almost simultaneously and about 100 yards apart, tearing limbs off numerous people, knocking spectators and at least one runner off their feet, shattering windows and sending smoke rising over the street.
At Massachusetts General Hospital, Alasdair Conn, chief of emergency services, said: "This is something I've never seen in my 25 years here . this amount of carnage in the civilian population. This is what we expect from war."
Some 23,000 runners took part in the race, one of the world's oldest and most prestigious marathons. One of Boston's biggest annual events, the race winds up near Copley Square, not far from the landmark Prudential Center and the Boston Public Library.
The Boston Athletic Association extended its "deepest sympathies to all those who were affected in any way by today's events."
". We can confirm that all of the remaining runners who were out on the course when the tragic events unfolded have been returned to a community meeting area," the association said in a release. "At this time, we are cooperating with the City of Boston, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and all federal law enforcement officials. We would like to thank the countless people from around the world who have reached out to support us today."
Boston police commissioner Ed Davis asked people to stay indoors or go back to their hotel rooms and avoid crowds as bomb squads methodically checked parcels and bags left along the race route. He said investigators didn't know whether the bombs were planted in mailboxes or trash cans.
He said authorities had received "no specific intelligence that anything was going to happen" at the race.
The Federal Aviation Administration barred low-flying aircraft from within 3.5 miles of the site.
Obama was briefed on the explosions by Homeland Security adviser Lisa Monaco. Obama also told Mayor Tom Menino and Gov. Deval Patrick that his administration would provide whatever support was needed, the White House said.
"We still don't know who did this or why," Obama said, adding, "Make no mistake: We will get to the bottom of this."
Also Monday, a fire broke out at the John F. Kennedy Library about five miles from the race finish line. The police commissioner said it may have been caused by an incendiary device but it didn't appear to be related to the bombings. Earlier, officials had said that a third explosive device had gone off at the library and appeared linked to the race scene. It was one of many erroneous reports that emerged from the chaotic scene.
"Fire in building is out, appears to have started in the mechanical room of new building. All staff and visitors are accounted for and safe," a tweet on the library's Twitter account read.
Davis said that the bomb squad was examining parcels left along the race route, many of which likely came from spectators watching the race.
"At this point, we have not found another device on Boylston Street," Davis said.
Shalane Flanagan, who finished fourth in the women's elite division, called the explosions "devastating."
"It's supposed to be something that unites people and brings them together," the American said. "It's a celebration of heroes, a celebration of people's achievements and dedication. It's overall an unbelievable, positive event that inspires so many people. This will surely taint it in a really sad way. It's pretty devastating that this happened."
About four hours into the race and two hours after the men's winner crossed the line, there was a loud explosion on the north side of Boylston Street, just before the photo bridge that marks the finish line. Another explosion could be heard a few seconds later.
The finish of the Boston Marathon became a chaotic scene after two explosions detonated in quick succession Monday afternoon. AP Photo/Charles Krupa
By that point, more than 17,000 of the runners had finished the race, but thousands of others were farther back along the course.
"There are people who are really, really bloody," said Laura McLean, a runner from Toronto who was in the medical tent being treated for dehydration when she was pulled out to make room for victims.
Another explosion was heard about an hour after the first two after authorities warned spectators to expect a loud noise from a water cannon as police performed a "controlled explosion," Davis said.
Vice President Joe Biden was on a conference call with gun control activists when staffers turned on televisions in his office Monday to view coverage of the explosions. Biden said during the call that his prayers were with those who suffered injuries.
The NHL postponed Monday night's game between the Ottawa Senators and Boston Bruins at TD Garden in the aftermath. The league said it "wishes to express its sympathy to all affected by the tragic events that took place in Boston earlier this afternoon."
The Boston Red Sox, who played a home game earlier Monday afternoon, seemed unaware of the explosions as they were interviewed by reporters after the game. In the Red Sox room, they dressed in suits and ties for their trip to Cleveland, where they're scheduled to start a three-game series against the Indians on Tuesday night. A team spokesman sent a text message saying the team had reached the airport.
The Celtics had a scheduled off day Monday but canceled Tuesday night's home game against Indiana.
Bill Iffrig, 78, was knocked to the ground by the initial blast, a stumble that was caught on tape in a video of the explosion.
"The force from it just turned my whole body to jelly, and I went down," Iffrig told the Seattle Times. He was able to walk away with only a scrape on his knee.
Laura McGinness, 40, from Bedford, Mass., and a couple of other runners had just finished and were retrieving their belongings from the park in Copley Square in front of Trinity Church when they heard the explosions.
"All of a sudden you heard a big boom and saw a big cloud of white smoke right around beyond the church," McGinness said, gesturing toward the Old South Church.
Steve and Molly Lemott were handing out Gatorade to runners just past the finish line when the first bomb exploded.
"I could see that the explosion was right at the pavilion," Steve Lemott said. "It was one of those that the flames go up, you know?"
The couple said they've been volunteering at the marathon for four years. They just like to cheer on the runners. And in the minutes after the explosions happened, as they waited for more information, that's who they were thinking of.
"I don't know where the other runners -- there are thousands of runners still out there," Molly Lemott said. "Where are they going to go?"
A woman who was a few feet from the second bomb, Brighid Wall, 35, of Duxbury, said that when it exploded, runners and spectators froze, unsure of what to do. Her husband threw their children to the ground, lay on top of them and another man lay on top of them and said, "Don't get up, don't get up."
She said she saw six to eight people bleeding profusely, including one man who was kneeling, dazed, with blood coming down his head. Another person was on the ground covered in blood and not moving.
Competitors and race volunteers were crying as they fled the chaos. Authorities went onto the course to carry away the injured while race stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site.
Roupen Bastajian, a 35-year-old state trooper from Smithfield, R.I., had just finished the race when they put the heat blanket wrap on him and he heard the blasts.
"I started running toward the blast. And there were people all over the floor," he said. "We started grabbing tourniquets and started tying legs. A lot of people amputated. . At least 25 to 30 people have at least one leg missing, or an ankle missing, or two legs missing."
Smoke rose from the blasts, fluttering through the national flags lining the route. Blood stained the pavement in the popular shopping and tourist area known as the Back Bay.
Cherie Falgoust was waiting for her husband, who was running the race.
"I was expecting my husband any minute," she said. "I don't know what this building is . it just blew. Just a big bomb, a loud boom, and then glass everywhere. Something hit my head. I don't know what it was. I just ducked."
Runners who had not finished the race were diverted straight down Commonwealth Avenue and into a family meeting area, according to an emergency plan that had been in place.
Caleb Masland, who ran in the race, has already vowed to return to Boston next year, and thinks most of the running world will be similarly motivated to show they're not going to live in fear.
"Runners by their nature, are resilient," Masland said. "I already feel motivated to do something, to find a way to help. I think the marathon is going to have a different feel next year. It will clearly be on everybody's mind. And there are going to be some runners who are nervous, but for every person who doesn't want to run, I think two or three will be that much more motivated to take their places and try to make something positive out of this."
Police in New York City and London are stepping up security. Chief NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said critical response teams have been deployed around the city. British police also say they are reviewing security plans for Sunday's London Marathon, which will go on as planned. It's the next major international marathon.
Your Stories: The Boston Marathon Is More Than A Race
The third Monday in April is a state holiday in Massachusetts. Officially, it’s Patriot’s Day, the day we remember Paul Revere and his compatriots who fought in the Revolutionary War battles of Lexington and Concord.
But really, it’s Marathon Monday: an iconic Boston holiday when the city marks the unofficial start of spring (whether the weather complies or not). The Red Sox have a day game at Fenway Park. College kids open their windows wide on Beacon Street. And thousands of spectators, old and young, fit and not, cheer on the runners for 26.2 miles, from Hopkinton, through the Newton hills, all the way to Copley Square.
In 2013, tragedy struck at the Boston Marathon. Three people were killed and hundreds more were injured when two homemade bombs went off near the finish line. The attack set off a city-wide manhunt that captured international attention and launched a new phrase, now iconic: #BostonStrong.
On the fifth anniversary of that tragedy, we asked to hear from you. We wanted to know what you remember from that day and what’s happened since. We asked you to tell us what the marathon means to you, and all of us.
We heard from runners, including a Boston champion, journalists, fans, emergency responders and even an organizer of the race. Some responses have been edited or condensed for clarity.
These are your stories. Thank you for sharing them.
Allison Hamilton of Cudgen Australia cheers as she enters Kenmore Square. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
The Boston Marathon is more than a race, it’s a tradition &mdash a ritual &mdash that helps to define Boston.
Following a Marathon tradition, Wellesley students hold out "Kiss Me" signs, to runners as they pass through the "scream tunnel." (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)
Before the bombs went off at the finish line, I listened to the bottom of the ninth inning of the Red Sox game on my phone, and did a little skip and a jump in Washington Square when Napoli drove Pedroia home for the walk-off win. I stopped to buy candy at the convenience store around the corner from my home near Cleveland Circle, and I made a point to acknowledge the moment and say to myself, "What a day!" &mdash Liza Cohen of Brighton, Mass.
As an innkeeper, my favorite day is Marathon Monday. The first year my husband and I ran the inn, we set out enormous breakfast spreads and churned out platters of baked goods all weekend. After dumping the stale food in the trash, we realized our mistake: runners gorge after the race, never before. Now we pack to-go bags of fruit, bagels and yogurt that the racers can grab on their way to Hopkinton in the morning the fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies don’t appear until late afternoon, when our runners, wrapped in foil blankets, come limping back for hot showers and cold beverages. – Jessica Ullian of Brookline, Mass.
The first year I lived in Boston, the marathon passed just a block from my apartment. I remember not being able to cross the street for hours because of the race. I remember the tears in my eyes when a walker in visible pain started running again when he hit a crowd of cheering fans. I remember realizing this was tradition. This was ritual … The year that I decided to run, I remember recounting to people that if you lived and worked in the city long enough, you’d be hard-pressed not to know someone who was running Boston each year. &mdash Beth Parfitt of State College, Penn.
Almost 9,400 volunteers, 30,000 runners, and hundreds of thousands of fans will give it their best efforts on race day. They will pour their hearts out for strangers, they will trust in each other, and they will unite. This Massachusetts holiday and the road race that occurs upon it is an aggregation of pursuit, gratitude, unity, and courage that is a spectacle to behold. And thanks to support of countless people from near and far, it will remain that way for years to come. &mdash T.K. Skendarian of South Boston, Mass.
It’s not just Bostonians who love the Boston Marathon.
Runners pour over the Mass Pike Bridge at the Mile 25 marker welcoming them to Boston. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
When I went to Boston to cheer on my sister, I was grateful to be a part of such a historic event. I soaked in everything I could from the moment I arrived &mdash taking photos along Boylston Street, listening to inspirational speakers, meeting my favorite elites as well as talking with fellow runners, volunteers and spectators. There was such an overwhelming feeling of camaraderie &mdash so many people coming together for a meaningful and monumental event. &mdash Malinda Ann Hill of Wynnewood, Penn.
[After the bombing] as days went on, the love poured in: from school children from Texas, from running clubs in Korea, and from widows in Winchester. It was immeasurably helpful. Fueled by this support, guided by our leaders, and backed by our law enforcement partners, we began planning the next Boston Marathon. In 2014, and in every year since, the race reclaimed the spirit of our open society &mdash a free sporting event, enjoyed locally, nationally, and globally. – T.K. Skendarian of South Boston, Mass.
Not just anyone gets to run Boston. It takes hard work to do it &mdash that’s what makes it special.
When I tell people I ran Boston, I usually preface with “I ran for charity…” &mdash and it’s true. I did not qualify &mdash I’m not sure I ever would. I know many runners for whom Boston is the pinnacle. They spend years training to qualify and they are among that group that is truly the best of the best. I admire those elite runners and their skill, determination, and commitment to the sport. &mdash Beth Parfitt of State College, Penn.
I joined this special community in 2012 after I qualified in my 17th marathon, a journey that took me four years. Our coach talks about the Boston Marathon as a special event that is like the prom, graduation, wedding, and race all in one. It's a day to celebrate and to challenge yourself. – Leah Connor of Charlottesville, Va.
Everyone remembers where they were when the bombs went off at the finish line.
I was nine months pregnant with my second son. My due date was the next day and my obstetrician expected me to go into labor at any second, but I was determined to watch the race … I gave birth two days later. During my labor, the nurses and I talked about the bombing, about the marathon, about what it all meant. We brought our son home from the hospital the day the city was on lockdown. It was an incredible juxtaposition to snuggle a newborn while watching S.W.A.T teams conduct a manhunt on television. &mdash Stephanie Hirst of North Andover, Mass.
If you work in [healthcare] long enough, you get used to the sound of sirens. They simply don’t get your attention. Except for that day. At my desk [at Mass. General Hospital], I first became aware that something was different, then I quickly realized what it was &mdash the sirens were constant. They didn’t go away. &mdash Rick Schrenker of Mass.
The lockdown made me think differently about what the bombing meant, and what Boston really was . I wondered why we had to remain inside. I didn’t think he was in my neighborhood. But then I thought, it’s about solidarity. We were all in this together. While I was thinking of people in Mattapan, maybe they were thinking about me, too. We were all sending a message to this guy, and all who would attack us: we are small enough to agree that what you did cannot be tolerated, and that nothing is more important than capturing you. We will make sacrifices together, to stop you. &mdash Ed Lyons of Brighton, Mass.
The tragedy in 2013 left an indelible mark.
Jennifer K. Stedman, of Auburn, Calif., jumps as she finishes the 121st Boston Marathon on Monday, April 17, 2017. (Elise Amendola/AP)
I was in the medical tent at the finish line area of the Boston Marathon when the attacks occurred. The boom shook the ground in the tent and resonated through my body … The chaos that I witnessed and the fear that I felt during the initial minutes after the blasts still haunts me. It took several months to emotionally regroup from the experience. I felt like the only thing that would heal me would be returning to Boston to run the marathon again the next spring. &mdash Meredith Stenta of Irvine, Calif.
It's not a stretch to say I think about the marathon bombings just about every day. It's not that I suffered any physical loss, but there was emotional pain, because I love this event so much and because I know so many people who basically devote their lives to making it happen every year. &mdash Alex Ashlock of Brookline, Mass.
As lifelong Marathon spectators, we remain well aware of how much has changed since 2013. The sturdy metal barriers lining Beacon Street and the helicopters hovering overhead remind us that the race may never be the same as the one we attended as children. But … the race for us is unchanged: a gathering of old friends and new hopefuls, where the body’s achievements are celebrated and its efforts rewarded. &mdash Jessica Ullian of Brookline, Mass.
When I returned home I made it my mission to know as much as I could about every victim from the bombings. I compiled a list on my website and links to everyone's fundraising pages and news articles. I felt it was my responsibility to keep everyone who was killed and injured in my thoughts. Martin Richard was the same age as my daughter on that day so his death was even more poignant for me as a mother. &mdash Leah Connor of Charlottesville, Va.
The 2014 Boston Marathon, one year after the tragedy, endures as one of the most emotional races in memory.
After winning the race in 1968, I pledged to run the Boston Marathon at least once every five years. Since 2013, I’ve run all four. The miraculous “comeback” marathon of 2014 was, without a doubt, the most spectacular, emotion-filled footrace I've ever participated in. Boston’s knowledgeable marathon fans turned out in record numbers, celebrating us louder than ever. We runners, in return, applauded the roadside families for their decades of unstinting support. &mdash Amby Burfoot of Mystic, Conn. (Winner, 1968 Boston Marathon)
That 2014 race was a celebration of the human spirit and a tribute to the glory of the city, the victims, the survivors, the race and the runners. It was an emotional day of camaraderie and solidarity that provided healing for so many who needed to experience the outpouring of love that enveloped the city and the race on that day. &mdash Meredith Stenta of Irvine, Calif.
When I returned home [after the 2013 race], I couldn't stop thinking about the tragedy. I read and watched everything that was available. It was devastating to think about the lives lost and the lives forever changed … I knew I would return to Boston in 2014, either as a runner or spectator. I was determined to qualify so my sister and I could run together in memory of those who died and in honor of those who survived. &mdash Malinda Ann Hill of Wynnewood, Penn.
The opportunity to honor those who were injured and those who lost their lives in 2013 is what keeps people coming back year after year.
I have returned to Boston every year since 2013 to run the marathon. Every year, I have committed to an endless cycle of qualifying and training for the April event that takes place 3,000 miles from my home. The race has challenged me in ways I could never have imagined and I always feel a renewed sense of purpose when I return home from Boston. To me, the iconic race represents the hope, the strength, and the glory of the human spirit. There is no other place I would rather be on the 3rd Monday in April! &mdash Meredith Stenta of Irvine, Calif.
The city created One Boston Day to turn the anniversary into something that looks forward, a day of public service, neighborhood cleanups, a blood drive and other events that offer an opportunity for folks to reach out to help. But there will also be somber, quiet ceremonies at the two bombing sites on Boylston Street … Families of the bombing victims come. Sometimes survivors are there, amazing people I have come to know like Jeff Bauman, who lost his legs that day … April 15, 2013 will be in the back of my mind this Patriot's Day as another chapter in the history of this great race is written. I'll try to do it justice. -- Alex Ashlock of Brookline, Mass. (Ashlock has covered the Boston Marathon for WBUR for 20 years, since 1998.)
Denise and Bill Richard, parents of Martin Richard, who died in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, greet a runner at the finish area who ran for Team MR8, a foundation in honor of their son, at the 121st Boston Marathon, Monday, April 17, 2017. (Elise Amendola/AP)
DOJ asks Supreme Court to reinstate death sentence for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
A federal appeals court threw out the death penalty last year.
The Justice Department asked the Supreme Court on Tuesday to reinstate the death penalty for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Tsarnaev was sentenced to death in May 2015 for the April 15, 2013, bombing that killed three.
However, a federal appeals court overturned the death sentencing last summer, ruling the trial judge failed to adequately question prospective jurors about if they had been biased by hearing about the case before the trial started.
The federal appeals court "improperly vacated the capital sentences recommended by the jury in one of the most important terrorism prosecutions in our Nation's history," the Justice Department argued Tuesday, claiming that a prospective juror's prior exposure to a case doesn't mean they can't be impartial.
"The fair determination of guilt and punishment for a ubiquitously publicized crime is neither impossible nor the peculiar province of the ignorant," the acting solicitor general said in the new filing.
"Instead, thoughtful and informed citizens — the ideal jurors — may serve on a jury so long as they 'can lay aside their impressions or opinions and render a verdict based on the evidence presented in court.'"
The federal appeals court last year ruled there should be a new sentencing phase. Judge O. Rogeriee Thompson wrote in the ruling, "Dzhokhar will spend his remaining days locked up in prison, with the only matter remaining being whether he will die by execution."
Tsarnaev had been indicted on 30 counts, including using a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death.
During the Boston Marathon in 2013, Tsarnaev and his older brother, Tamerlan, detonated twin explosive devices near the finish line. The three killed included an 8-year-old boy, and another 260 people were injured.
The bombing led to a dayslong, highly publicized mass search for the brothers around the Boston area. Three days after the marathon, the Tsarnaevs murdered MIT police officer Sean Collier.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a shootout with police the day after that. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was 19 years old at the time of the bombing, pleaded not guilty to a series of charges, with his defense arguing he acted under the influence of his brother.
"Respondent never offered a single piece of evidence to suggest that he attempted to get out from under his brother's purported influence or felt apprehension about his crimes," the Justice Department argued in the Tuesday filing. "The jury instead saw compelling evidence — including video evidence — showing just the opposite."