Where Were You? Students' Stories of the Boston Marathon Bombing • An ICMPA Media Literacy Project
Last Monday was like any normal Monday, pretty mundane. I was well aware that the Boston Marathon was taking place because my roommate is a big runner. He ran in the Marine Corps Marathon in DC last fall and came just shy of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. Still a fan of the sport however he was streaming the marathon live from his computer to watch the winners cross the finish line. This was much earlier, around 2pm and he had long since stopped watching. Around 4:30pm later that day I was walking back from class. As I do just about every 10 minutes I was checking my twitter feed. The only big media outlet that I follow on twitter is Sports Center. It was from them that I learned about the two explosions occurring close to the finish line. Since I was walking back from class and to my room I was able to turn on CNN right when I got back. I found myself glued to TV for the next 3 hours. I was slowly learning new information piece by piece just as everyone else in the country was. Much of the information reported within that first hour turned out to be false. Reporters were just as confused as we were and were only relaying the information they had just been told moments earlier. They were unable to check these facts because there was absolutely nowhere and no one they could be checked with.
A few days later on Thursday night from my roommate I found out that there was new activity occurring in Boston. A police officer at MIT had been shot and killed and police were engaged in a firefight in Watertown. My roommate found a website where we were able to listen to the Boston Police Department radar. The sounds were filled with gunshots and explosions. Coverage news stations were unable to report. Friday morning I had to wake up early to travel back home. I found myself listening to CNN radio from my phone as the entire country searched for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the younger brother, who was eventually found hiding in a boat in someone’s back yard.
During my free time all last week I found myself watching the news and checking the CNN app on my phone. Boston is a city I have visited many times before. I am a Boston Sports fan. I felt a connection to the city and to the events that were occurring. Last week was a big event for the entire country. One in which I feel I will be able to look back on in 30 years and describe exactly where I was and what I was doing while it was taking place.