It is hard to believe that it has been a year since the Marathon bombings. I can still remember it like it happened yesterday. My heart beating faster than it ever had because I was stuck in a commotion caused by two explosives. Horror written all over the faces of those who were there, shaken from the tragedy that still does not seem to make sense.
On that fateful Monday morning, my family had decided to go see the Marathon, which had attracted both elite and amateur runners from all over the world. My mom, brother, and I cheered as runners both young and old made their way to the finish line.
I decided to take a picture of the international flags that represented the countries of the different runners. The Marathon was a Boston tradition but people from around the globe came to participate. They all had the same goal, to cross the finish line. As the late reggae singer Lucky Dube once said: “Different colors, one people.”
Just when I was about to snap the picture, I heard a loud bang. The ground shook. For a second, I felt dizzy. I looked around. There was smoke everywhere. My first thought was: “Oh my God, that’s a bomb or something.” Then I felt a hand pulling me away.
It was my mom. She was pushing my brother and me through the crowd, which seemed confused and shocked and frozen in place. Parents hugged their children to comfort them. As we moved through the throng, we heard a second bomb go off in our direction. That was when things got crazy. There were people screaming and running around, and there was blood everywhere, like something out of a horror movie. We were close to Lord & Taylor and were able to escape through the store’s back exit.
When we got home, the first thing I did was turn on the television for updates. The eventual toll was four dead -- including a police officer later fatally shot, allegedly by the suspected bombers -- and more than 260 injured.
Through this heartbreaking period, the goodwill of Bostonians overcame the bad. Boston stood strong and showed that in a world full of wickedness and evil, good people still exist: the first responders who rushed to the scene; the people who donated blood and money to the relief efforts.
Being so close to the finish line made me realize that I had taken things for granted. It taught me how precious life is and that I have to use the opportunity of being alive to make a positive impact on society.