Two bombs exploded in a manner designed to kill or maim spectators cheering on runners at the finish line of the historic Boston Marathon. As of late last night the count was over 130 injured, and three people had died. One of those dead, an eight-year-old boy, another a BU student.
The Sandy Hook families were invited as special guests by the Boston Marathon organizers. ESPN reported earlier:
Boston Athletic Association president Joanne Flaminio said there was "special significance" to the fact that the race is 26.2 miles long and 26 people died at Sandy Hook Elementary school.A team from the group "Newtown Strong" was running in memory of the victims of the CT shooting, and the race organizers created a special honor at the finish line to honor the cause:
Laura Nowacki, a spokeswoman for the Newtown Strong Fund, says the runners will hit Heartbreak Hill knowing it's nothing like the pain felt by the runners back home. She says, "It's just running, but we want our steps to count."The family members were seated in the VIP viewing section across Boylston St. from where the first bomb went off Monday. None were hurt.
The mile marker that will hang at the end of the 26th mile will feature the city seal surrounded by 26 stars, one for each victim.
There also will be 26 seconds of silence at the start before the race.
The first bomb went off over four hours into the race. The elite runners had finished, so the major sports coverage was complete. But typically as the race progresses the groups who are supporting charities, running to raise money or awareness for causes and cures, are making their way across the finish line.
The finish line spectators in the public areas - including the area that was bombed - shift from the marathon sports enthusiasts there to watch the international elite runners, to those who are there to cheer on and congratulate those who are running out of the spotlight, not to win or achieve some sort of record time, but to finish either for personal victories or for a cause or a combination of both.
The spectators at the finish line always include children, lots of children. Many are cheering for runners they know or just to experience one of Bostons proudest events. The race takes place on Patriot's day a MA state holiday- schools and local government are closed. And, for those who live in the Commonwealth of MA, it is also the beginning of a week-long school vacation.
The person or people who placed those bombs today knew what they were doing. These were small bombs designed to kill and severely injure those who were close-by. They did just that, with some of the Sandy Hook family members who have already suffered too much pain from senseless violence, watching.
If anything can make this whole horrific event even more tragic, that would be it. Thankfully none of those from Newtown, either running or watching, were physically injured. But this now adds to their already unfathomable pain; they are victims once again.
The CT News Times reported on the safety and whereabouts of many of the Newtown guests, including Denis Loncto was on his way to meet his wife at the finish line when he witnessed the chaos as first responders headed to scene:
"It was surreal," he said. "It was like the end of the world."Some personal thoughts as the emotion of the day yesterday unfolded and my husband, who works in Boston, and I watched some of the most horrific uncut footage of our city, in an area of the city we know so well, lost its innocence.
They have collected photos and footage from all over and must have all hands on deck for this story.
This story is just one of many they've found as they learn about the victims. These brother's lives have changed forever:
Brothers watching Boston Marathon each lose a leg