Where Were You? Students' Stories of the Boston Marathon Bombing • An ICMPA Media Literacy Project
In the afternoon of April 15th, I was sitting at my desk at work when I saw a tweet about an explosion near the finish line of the Boston marathon. Because I had seen it on Twitter, it had happened just minutes before. I looked on a few news websites, such as CNN, but still only saw just a sentence about the breaking news that had just occurred.
Like many in my generation, I received much of the news of the bombing through Twitter. I already followed a good amount of news organizations, but I began following newspapers in Boston in hopes of getting updated more frequently. As pictures began to go up on television and on the Internet, I realized that this was a massive explosion and there would be a number of injuries.
The Boston marathon is a huge accomplishment. It’s an extremely famous event that attracts runners from across the world. Finishing it is a huge feat. The fact that this bombing happened right at the finish line—as these people realized their dreams or watched their friends and family members realize theirs—they had no idea what was about to transpire.
Having lived through 9/11, my mind immediately went there. Was this another terrorist attack? Was the entire country under attack? Would D.C. be targeted again? I wanted to know immediately who had been behind this—and whether we had anything else to worry about.
The truly fascinating part of the bombing was the manhunt to find the suspects. For hours, the picture of one suspect was tweeted and retweeted, spreading across the country in hopes that someone, anyone could recognize the person who authorities believe carried out this attack. On Friday, as I got up and began getting ready to start the day I checked Twitter and saw hundreds of tweets that had popped up about the battle to find the two victims who had led police on a dangerous chase in the wee hours of Friday morning.
I became addicted to checking for more Twitter updates—by now, I knew that the older suspect had been killed, but the younger one was still at-large. Boston was almost entirely on lock down. Police roamed the streets, looking for clues. And finally, once again, the news broke. They had found him. Badly wounded, but alive. It was the end of a whirlwind week, one that saw America band together in a way that was reminiscent of the 2001 terrorist attacks. It was just further proof that while the world we live in is scary, it is also stronger than we could ever imagine.