As a person, who came from a country where terrorist attacks happen several times a year, I know how scary it is.
I personally haven’t witnessed any attacks yet, but I remember feeling unprotected, weak and helpless every time I found out that there was another explosion. I remember being scared of going to bed after a series of terrorist attacks in apartment buildings in Moscow and Volgodonsk in 1999. Terrorists blew up apartments early in the morning, when everyone was still asleep, to kill as many people as possible. We didn’t know where the next explosion would happen, so residents of our apartment building organized their own neighborhood watch and were watching the area every night for a long time.
When I came to this country, I hoped that this kind of experience was over. However, terrorist attacks can happen anywhere, even in America. Almost a year ago, on April 15, the United States faced another tragedy, which again made us realize that terrorism has an international face.
Many of us remember that day when the news anchors announced that bombings happened at one of the most peaceful events in the world – the Boston Marathon. As CNN Library reported, “double bombings near the finish line of the Boston Marathon killed three people and injured at least 264.” These are just the numbers, but think about those people who came there to run in the marathon or those who came to support the participants. The explosion happened near the finish line which was so desirable for all of the athletes. Later on, many of them probably thanked God for not being there when the bombs exploded.
A few months ago one of my friends, LuRay Workman, told me that she and her family were at the Boston Marathon that day. I asked her to share her memories with me and she kindly agreed. That day, LuRay was there with her husband Harold and their older son Rick who came from Pennsylvania to watch their younger son Rob run the Boston Marathon. Rob had finished the race and they were around others who were greeting their runners.
Soon, the Workman family went back to the hotel, and approximately half an hour later they started getting phone calls from family and friends asking whether they were okay.
“That was the first we knew of the bombings. Apparently our hotel rooms were well insulated as we did not hear the bombs, though we were fairly close to the site,” LuRay said.
When she and her family went down to the hotel lobby, they saw a lot of people who just came from the marathon and were shocked by the happenings. They also saw armored guards and police in and around the hotels.
“It was very devastating to see all of this happening,” LuRay said.
They saw a lot of people crying and others who were comforting them. But the Workman family was lucky enough not to be injured. The most touching thing that LuRay shared with me was that their son Rob, whose time qualified him for Boston Marathon 2014, said that he will go back this year to run in honor and memory of those who lost their lives or were injured.
“So we will be going back for the 2014 Boston Marathon which is April 21,” said LuRay. “The Boston Marathon is held on Maryland’s Patriot’s Day which is an important holiday. The people of Boston are very excited to watch the runners and to honor the patriots. To not allow them to watch and celebrate would be sad.”