by Neil Chandra on Friday, April 26th, 2013
Since last Monday’s terrorist attack, the citizens of Boston have been grieving and recovering. While the capture of the second terror suspect has brought some measure of closure to the Greater Boston community, the many victims and families affected by the tragic Marathon bombings are still left with altered lives.
Police arrested suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev after a 24-hour manhunt that extended from late Thursday night into Friday evening. The search, one of the largest in recent memory, brought the city to a screeching halt and ended with a gunfight and the subsequent surrender of the suspect. In total, the two suspects claimed 4 lives and injured over 170. While the attacks have personally affected many members of the community, they have incited a powerful and united response across the nation.
Efforts to honor the memories of the victims have met with overwhelming support within the greater Boston area. The Westboro Baptist Church’s attempt to picket the funeral of Krystle Campbell, a victim of the bombings, was met with a human shield. Although the Church never fully attempted to carry out its threat, the presence of hundreds of ordinary citizens demonstrated Massachusetts’ commitment to the healing process. Additionally, Mayor Thomas Menino and Governor Deval Patrick created the One Fund, a non-profit that provides assistance to families who were heavily affected by the marathon tragedy. This effort has already raised over $20.7 million.
Bostonians continue to seek signs of normalcy after such a heartbreaking tragedy. In the struggle to return to a routine, many have searched for solace in the city’s sports teams. The tragedy was magnified by the ruining of Patriot’s Day, a distinctive regional holiday defined by athletic events. Red Sox Players and fans grieved as one when the team returned to Fenway Park later in the week. An emotional return to the ice for the Bruins culminated with the entire Garden singing the national anthem in unison.
Nelson Barrette (I), who lives near where Tsarnaev was captured in Watertown, said that “at the end of the day, we went up to our roof, and we could hear the flash bangs” that the police used in an attempt to draw out the suspect. His sentiment was echoed by many other residents who declared that the ordeal felt like living in a war zone – not something one would expect in a suburban area. Barrette added that after the suspect was caught, “we all went to the end of the street and joined in the spontaneous celebration near where they caught him.”
After the dramatic week came to an end, the true scope of the tragedy became even clearer. The bombs shattered the lives of many families, and the dreams of the many individuals who were running the marathon. The city, however, has already started preparing emotionally for the running of the 118th Boston Marathon next year. The events have forced authorities to reconsider security measures in public locations across the globe, but it’s already clear from the way Bostonians have responded that the city – and the nation – will not submit in the face of terror.
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