After 10 years, Boston Marathon bombing still a relevant topic


Running shoes line the street following the bombing at the 2013 Boston Marathon. (Royalty-free photo by Sarah Nichols via Wikimedia Commons)

By Alejandro Perez, Reporter

Imagine a marathon: people running toward the finish line, sweat dripping from their faces as they see victory ahead. All of a sudden, a loud boom goes off to the right followed by a big cloud of smoke. The runners scattered in opposite directions, and people screamed at the top of their lungs. Fear is in the air, and people are dead on the ground.

On April 15, 2013, at the Boston Marathon, two explosives went off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, “killing three spectators and wounding more than 260 other people” in a terrorist attack. People were missing legs, arms, and other parts of their upper bodies. 

Spectators witnessed fellow adults suffer in pain, and watched children deal with injuries as well.  

After the attack, the two brothers, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26 ran away from the scene and went into hiding as the whole city searched for them. The brothers stayed at their house for a bit, and then attempted to escape by car. When their car broke down, they stole somebody else’s car. At this point, the police did not have many leads on them, so they put all of Massachusetts in state of emergency. 

When the brothers were on the move, they needed weapons. Upon seeing a cop car, the Tsarnaevs approached it and killed the cop inside, taking his gun. They then hijacked another car, taking the owner hostage.

It was at this point the city finally had a lead. The hostage managed to escape, and placed a call from a gas station. The hostage left his phone inside the stolen vehicle, allowing police to track the car.

The view from a second-story window: spectators help victims soon after the Boston Marathon terrorist attack. (Royalty-free photo by Aaron Tang via Wikimedia Commons)

The police later spotted the stolen black SUV along a suburban street. The police tried to arrest the brothers, but heard shots. The brothers fired at them, going through more than 80 rounds, and firing 200 shots.

Tamerlan told Dzhokar to drive, perhaps staying his ground to stall the cops. He was alive, but struggling, when the younger brother ran him over with the previously-stolen SUV. Tamerlan suffered fatal injuries, and died April 19

During the investigation, police located the brothers’ mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, and investigated her. She would continue to argue that her sons were “innocent” and called Americans “terrorists” during trial

Later on, a man that owns a gas station called the police, reporting a suspicious person inside a boat in his backyard. The police rushed to the man’s house, setting up a perimeter with snipers. After several hours, the police shot at the boat twice, and finally the suspect, Dzhokar, surrendered. He was arrested 108 hours after the bombing.

What started as an ordinary race for people of all walks of life to participate in and enjoy turned into a deadly scene, one that is still relevant today, as the tenth anniversary of the bombing approaches.

A Catholic priest blesses the Boston Marathon Bombing Memorial on Boylston Street in Boston. (Royalty-free photo by Whoisjohngalt via Wikimedia Commons)

Each year in Massachusetts, the people celebrate Patriots Day with the running of the Boston Marathon to mark the anniversary of the Revolutionary War. And yet, the bombing is not mentioned in history classes at West Chicago Community High School. 

In light of the Highland Park shooting on July 4, and many other acts of violence against innocent people, the Boston marathon demonstrates how one, or in this case, two, person with weapons or explosives can change a situation – meant for entertainment and fun – and turn it into something Americans are unlikely to forget. Innocent people died, or suffered, at the hands of a criminal. 

When this marathon bombing took place during April 2013, most seniors were eight years old: the freshmen class averaged about five years of age when the deadly bombing occurred. 

“Anytime there is an unfortunate event, like the bombing at the Boston Marathon, Major cities like Boston, Chicago, can learn from that, on what they can do to continue to provide security.. The Chicago marathon is coming up, usually around the beginning of October, so it helps, again, Chicago, plan for that, so that the runners that participate in that can run and put their trust in the city, that they can do the run without an incident like that,” said Christopher Lukas, a Social Studies teacher at WCCHS. 

Lukas mentioned the Boston Marathon made other cities take notice, and remain alert at large events and festivals. Now, marathons feature more security. Police are active watchers at the event, and on the lookout for the people’s safety. 

The Boston Marathon bombing changed history and should be a source of reflection this April. People cannot let such tragedies appear in the nation’s marathons again. This is truly as an important event that the world should never forget: the Boston Marathon bombing.