Boston Marathon Bombing
At this location on April 15th, 2013, two explosions about five hundred feet away claimed the lives of three people and caused over 250 severe injuries. This is the site of the second explosion, which was the result of two terrorists detonating pressure cooker bombs near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon. This first detonation occurred near the public library ten seconds before this bomb exploded. The historic sporting event features the world’s best runners, but on this day, onlookers and participants were running for their lives. A memorial is planned for this intersection to be completed in 2020. The monument will pay tribute to first responders and commemorate the everyday heroism of the residents of Boston who unified under the iconic slogan, "Boston Strong."
Backstory and Context
At 2:49 p.m., a pressure cooker bomb exploded near the finish line on Boylston Street. People frantically rushed to get away from the bombing. Before most people had the chance to react to the first explosion, another bomb detonated thirteen seconds later outside of Forum Restaurant. Lu Lingzi, a graduate student at Boston University, ran from the bombing scene after the first explosion. Sadly, Lu’s life came to a sudden end when she ran into the second bomb at the exact moment it detonated.
First responders pronounced three people dead at the scene, but over 250 people faced serious injuries. Countless people suffered severe injuries ranging from deep gashes to missing limbs. The injuries were extensive because the bombers designed the explosives to inflict maximum damage. In fact, the bombers put nails and pellets in their homemade bombs. Doctors described the injuries as being equivalent to those a military doctor would encounter on the battlefield.
After the initial shock of the bombings, people wanted justice. Obtaining justice proved to be difficult because the authorities did not know the identities of the bombers. Finally, after two days filled with numerous dead ends, the authorities received a breakthrough tip from a man named Danny. Danny informed the authorities that he had been carjacked by two men who claimed to be responsible for the Boston Marathon bombings as well as the murder of an MIT police officer. These men forced him to drive them around Boston, and they even wanted him to drive them to New York City. Fortunately, Danny was able to escape from his captors at a gas station. Danny's information gave the authorities the leads that they desperately needed to identify and to locate the suspects. The authorities identified the bombers as brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Luckily, Danny left his cell phone in the car that the Tsarnaev brothers were driving, so the authorities were able to pinpoint the location of the brothers. Then, police officers killed Tamerlan in a shootout in Boston’s Watertown District and apprehended Dzhokhar several hours later at a boat dock. When the intense manhunt concluded, the Boston Police Department tweeted, “CAPTURED!!! The hunt is over. The search is done. The terror is over. And justice has won. Suspect in custody.”
Dzhokhar informed the police that he and his brother acted alone in the attacks and were not part of a terrorist organization. He explained that their fanatical Islamic beliefs prompted them to carry out the attack. He also communicated that if they had successfully fled Boston, their next target would have been Times Square. A Boston jury imposed the death penalty for Dzhokhar, and he is currently on death row in the ADX Florence Penitentiary in Colorado.
Following this tragedy, the residents of Boston and surrounding communities rallied together with the message, "Boston Strong." This saying represents the resilience of Boston residents to endure this tragedy and to continue living their lives.
Abel, David. Two stark monuments planned at Marathon bombing site. Boston Globe. April 16, 2017. Accessed November 02, 2017. https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/04/15/memorials/l5mME5xpKskhdEhyTxFKjO/story.html.