Patriots Day is a holiday in our state, where we recognize the "shot heard round the world," and the battle of Lexington and Concord. Two hundred and thirty-eight years later, it wasn't a shot that the world heard, it was two loud booms.
The two explosions detonated simultaneously according to numerous reports from approximately 50-100 yards apart. Tuesday afternoon Boston police commissioner Ed Davis confirmed that the fragments found in patients were ball-bearings and BB-like projectiles typically found in improvised explosive devices.
The Associated Press reported that six-quart pressure cookers were set off by timers. We all probably have a pressure cooker in our kitchen, and I am willing to bet we won't think about it the same ever again.
While settling in at my desk from watching a Patriots Day high school baseball game in Bolton between North Middlesex and Nashoba, I flipped on the radio to see what was going on at the marathon. I heard the typical finishes of the top performers in the race, and then the unthinkable happened.
Two loud booms went off, and when I finally turned on the news, all you could see was complete and utter chaos. Chaos that many of us remember from the 9/11 attacks in New York, and you would think that security would be out in full-force, and it was.
Not even the hundreds of Boston Police Department officers and bomb-sniffing dogs could sense this coming.
Soon after the attacks of Sept. 11, the government warned the people of a possible attack on a major sporting event, and approximately 12 years later, Boston is now at the epicenter.
According to CBS Boston, Davis, asked during the press conference if this was a terrorist attack, replied, "You can reach your own conclusions."
Among the injuries were maiming and head trauma. What the news crews and hospitals won't be able to give an account of is the mental trauma these runners and spectators along the sidewalks surrounding the finish line are going through and will continue to battle.
An eight-year old boy is among the three dead, and over 170 are injured.
Twenty-one runners from the Nashoba Publishing coverage area were racing in the event, and there is no confirmed report of whether they are among the casualties. A North Middlesex football player was leaving the Boston Red Sox game at the exact moment when the bombs went off. The player said via Twitter that even though he and his party were two streets over, they could feel the ground shake beneath them.
In a classy move, the Bruins and Celtics both postponed their games Monday night in respect to the ongoing police and FBI investigation.
While I was a junior at Clinton High School, I took a class entitled "The History of World Terrorism," a course that not many high schools offered in the country.
My teacher told us there were various levels of awareness the public has to the potential of an attack occurring.
Today's level at the marathon would be clear; the runners probably had not even a semblance of a thought about the carnage they witnessed.
Many veterans often return home, and compete in the Boston Marathon in full fatigues. Haven't they gone through enough? Average people jumped in and helped strangers of all stripes. That's what will be stuck in my mind forever.
That is what Americans do; they help their neighbor when they are in need. There are no culture clashes or team affiliations on days like this, just people helping fellow human beings. That's the true American spirit.
When I saw photos on Twitter, I found it hard to look away. In one of the pictures, you could almost make out a runner who had been maimed above the leg.
The Charles River and the Boston Harbor are overflowing with the tears of people from all across the state, the city of Boston and the nation.
Despite the actions of one or a group, the nation will stand strong. Boston is often dubbed in the sports world as a championship city in the professional sports world.
Well, on Monday, all of the helpers involved are champions -- champions for the spirit of this great nation. It makes you proud to bleed the red, white and blue.
All of our license plates are emblazoned with the phrase "The Spirit of America," and remember, that spirit may be injured now, but it will never be broken.
If you have any information regarding the locals involved in Monday's race, have them contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter @EdNiser or call me at (978)-772-077 ext. 239.