Where Were You? Students' Stories of the Boston Marathon Bombing • An ICMPA Media Literacy Project
The time is just after 1 pm on Monday afternoon April 15, 2013. As I am walking in my neighborhood heading back home from school, I make plans with my girlfriend to head out to Olive Garden to grab a drink. As I take in the beautiful spring weather, I quickly snap a picture of my neighborhood to share on Instagram. I remember looking at it thinking, “What a perfect day, nothing can go wrong.” Less than two hours later, as my friend and I sat at the bar in Olive Garden, awaiting the arrival of our drinks, discussing our summer plans — up to this moment, it was a normal Monday. A few minutes later as our Strawberry-Mango Margarita’s arrived, I decided to capture the beauty of the drink. At the moment I took the picture, my phone vibrated. It was my CNN app alerting me that, not only one, but TWO bombs exploded at the finish line at the Boston Marathon, and the amount of casualties were unknown.
Immediately I was struck to my core, thinking how in the calm normality of my life, elsewhere people are experiencing cruelty and unnecessary tragedy. My thoughts almost instantly reverted to September 11, 2001, where I sat in my eighth grade homeroom class, waiting for the morning announcements to begin. The school’s TV station playing Michael Jackson’s Butterflies as students dance around the classroom — this was our normalcy. Suddenly the news cuts on notifying all in the school that the first plane had crashed in to the World Trade Center, followed by the second plane; and then the third into the Pentagon.
Both of these moments quickly snapped me back to the reality of life: that nothing but death is promised and that in an instant, millions of lives can be changed forever because of another’s actions. More importantly, after learning the ages of the young individuals behind this attack, that some people wish harm on innocent lives for the sake of being evil. My deepest sympathy goes out to the innocent lives lost this day, the families that have been ruthlessly torn apart, the individuals whose lives have been changed drastically, and relatives of the suspects. This was an unnecessary act of violence that should have been avoided.