Boston Marathon bombings hit home

Abbie Kellner, Staff Writer

Two bombs went off in Boston on Monday during the famous Boston Marathon held each year to celebrate Patriot’s day. The explosive devices killed three and injured an estimated 150 runners and race spectators. West Shore graduates Amelia Winter (class of 2011) and Rachel Dunkel (class of 2012) attend college in Boston and witnessed the effects firsthand.

Winter attends Wellesley college and was participating for two hours in the tradition of the “Wellesley Scream Tunnel” where all the students at the marathon’s 13-mile marker to watch in front of campus. She had friends whose families were seconds from being impacted by the bomb and recalls the multitude of calls and texts making sure she was all right.

“It really dampened the mood of the day,” Winter said. “It was supposed to be a holiday, but I don’t know if we will be able to watch this marathon in the same way again.”

Winter said she still feels Boston is a safe place and believes the events were handled well by the campus security at her university. But she predicted the bombings will change the way marathons in the future are managed.

Dunkel, who attends Boston University, was another spectator on her way to the finish line when she and her friends stopped for ice cream and a bathroom break. Her friends heard the blast but at first believed it was a celebratory cannon until they saw the police pushing through the crowd. Many people like Dunkel in the Boston area were unaware of what happened after the event and heard many rumors from what type of bomb went off to varied death-toll numbers. It was not until they heard it was on the national news minutes after the attack that they knew it was a serious situation.

“It was an odd juxtaposition between people like me and my friends who knew something awful had happened and those who were still enjoying their holiday,” Dunkel said. “People were either crying or playing Frisbee. Running, or peddling swan boats in the pond.”

Dunkel remains traumatized by the experience and is no longer comfortable in large crowds or away from her phone and computer. She believes these feelings will stick with her for a long time if they ever go away and recalls running blindly for her life.

“It was just surreal to realize things throughout today like: ‘I spent most of yesterday doing what I thought was running for my life’ or ‘Yesterday, I fled from a possible terrorist attack on my own home,’” Dunkel said.