Four hours and nine minutes into the 117th Boston Marathon, two explosions went off near the finish line. Three lives were lost, 260 people were injured. Runners crossed the finish line and kept running to Mass General just to donate blood to the victims.
The week that followed was one of the worst in Boston’s history. Bostonians across the globe called home and refreshed live feeds of the coverage. Cambridge, Watertown, Boston and surrounding areas were on lockdown. No one slept. Dorchester gathered to mourn the life of 8-year-old Martin Richard. A police officer was murdered at MIT, which led to the shoot out in Watertown no one could tear their eyes away from. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed, police pursued the younger brother and found him on the boat in Watertown. We refreshed our Twitter feeds and watched 7NEWS.
Long after the rest of the nation turned off their television sets, Boston watched. We mourned. Over the past two years, no one has forgotten the pain. We’ve helped our neighbors and cried for the victims and their families. We ran 26.2 miles for those who couldn’t. Six months after the bombing, the Sox won the World Series in honor of Krystle, Lingzi and Martin.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s trial began on Wednesday, March 4. He faces 30 federal charges, 17 of which carry the possibility of the death penalty. The trial is expected to last for 3-4 months. The prosecution will bring to the stand many of the victims and their testimony combined with videos will make for a graphic retelling of April 15, 2013. The trial will force Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the victims and all of Boston to relive the chaos and terror from two years ago.
16 Bostonians share their thoughts on the trial and how reliving the bombings is effecting them:
1. “One of the victims of the attack, Martin Richard, lived only a few houses away from my family home. My mother and I talked about how we could remember the balloon tied to the Richard home on the day Martin was born, and now that caring boy’s life has been brutally taken. I felt, and still feel, such incredible anger that someone thought they had the right to attack MY community. The Boston marathon has always been such a precious event for me as a fellow runner and Bostonian.
I honestly am furious that Tsarnaev is receiving a trial. It makes me sick to think about the victims’ families having to relive the event more so than they already do in their daily lives. I am only happy that Tsarnaev is forced to relive the event and has to face his horrific actions. In my opinion he deserves the death penalty when this whole trial is over. I am a strong believer in ‘do unto others as you would have them do you.’ For the lives that Tsarnaev has taken, he deserves to have his own life taken from him.”
2. “I’ve been watching the coverage and following the live blog of the trial. It makes it so real to hear them describe in detail how Krystle, Lu Lingzi and Martin died. I don’t care if he was supposedly ‘brainwashed’ and I don’t care that I grew up less than 3 miles from him, he deserves to be charged on every count against him.”
3. “I don’t believe in the death penalty, but I want him to be behind bars for life. During that police chase, the two brothers literally ran past my house, so I have the right to say I’d feel much safer if he never walked outside ever again. He robbed an ATM I’ve been to, and shot the officer at MIT which is dangerously close to where I live. He should never be out on the streets ever again.”
4. “I am brought back to a place of discomfort. I was living in California during the Boston Marathon bombing. When I found out about the tragedy, I’ve never wanted to come home more. I still feel grateful that none of my family, friends, peers or acquaintances were physically hurt. We are still mentally hurt, two years later.”
5. “I’m frustrated that we are even having this trial because if the police marksmanship was what it was supposed to be it all would’ve ended during the shoot out in Watertown and the surrounding houses wouldn’t still have holes in them. There would be much less lasting damage.”
6. “It’s always a little depressing to realize how much time has passed since the attack and how many tragedies there have been since. In a weird way, we’re luck to have captured a man and give him a trial the way our country is supposed to. Not every act of terror gets this kind of closure, which is obviously frustration. It’s awful that there are enough acts of terror in our lives that this is considered a win.”
7. “I was in Madrid when the bombs went off in Boston. I couldn’t get in contact with anyone, people said cell towers were down, so I went for a run and run until I couldn’t anymore, and then I just cried. I got in contact with my family and some friends who were in lockdown. My friends at the finish line said they got out as soon as they could. Some went to give blood, others raced home. They were all fine, thank God, but the stories they had totell sounded like stories a war-torn veteran might come home with. Lots of blood, screaming, smoke everywhere, they were pretty shaken up.”
8. “Can you imagine what’s going through (Tsarnaev’s) mind? I guess we haven’t been brainwashed by extremism so we can’t understand how he sees it. I hope it hurts him to watch the retelling. I hope it kills him on the inside.”
9. “It brings me hope watching the Richard family living their lives with such strength while continuing to celebrate the life of Martin. The marathon bombing has changed our city forever in many heartbreaking ways. However, this city has been and always will be Boston strong.”
10. “Fury is the feeling that comes to mind when I think about Tsarnaev’s trial. The trial is present in all forms of media, and even after nearly two years I still have to turn my head away from the television screen when they show the face of the marathon bomber.”
11. “I grew up in the heart of Boston. It is my home. Once I heard news of the opening trial it stirred up the memories and emotions from the day of the Boston marathon bombing. Memories of stressed out phone calls, anxiety and the helplessness that I felt when the terror struck my city. I can only imagine the pain the families of victims feel especially the parents of Martin Richard. It will be extremely difficult for the jurors to remain unbiased, there is the internal battle as to whether Tsarnaev should face the death penalty. I think, hasn’t there been enough death in this city?”
12. “As a parent who chose to raise children in this city and had to put my family on lockdown when the terrorists were in our neighborhood, I’m distressed that he could get anything less than the death penalty.”
13. “Now that the trial is happening, I still feel as though there will never be a truly impartial jury. Sure, the members of the jury could have been like me and had no connections to victims in the bombings, but the tragedy of the event and the alleged reasons why it happened overshadows that. Someone had true hatred in their heart, and what was meant to be such a happy day turned into a gruesome scene, as if from a movie. I’m trying to be objective, but every time I recall the evidence and hear new evidence, I cringe to say, ‘alleged,’ and all I hear is open and shut- he’s guilty.”
14. “I have family members who run every year. All I can think is that had it been one of them who got injured, I’d want Tsarnaev held accountable.”
15. “I know the special place that Patriot’s Day holds in the hearts of Bostonians and how watching the marathon is the event that day that makes them proud to live there. No doubt the trial forces many to relive the painful memories of that day and also will be forever connected to the event tainting the future enjoyment of it.”
16. “I remember I got a breaking news alert on my phone. It read something like, ‘BREAKING: Explosion at Boston Marathon finish line.’ Never did it occur to me that the explosion was an act of terrorism. Not in Boston.”