- Posted April 16, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Boston Marathon bombings: Your stories
Boston Marathon Bombing Eye Witness Account
- hhanks, CNN iReport producer
My friends and I were standing behind the flags near the finish line when the first bomb exploded. The photos uploaded were taken minutes before complete chaos and mayhem broke out as we all had to run for our lives. We were only steps away from the explosion but are all so lucky to walk away with non life-threatening injuries and have all gotten our hearing back.
The whole scene can only be described as a surreal nightmare. As soon as the explosion happened, I was confused, I was scared, I did not know if this was an accident but I just knew I had to flee in the opposite direction. We began running on the sidewalk towards the the finish line when we heard the 2nd explosion that seemed like it occurred just a moment later. At this point, I knew this was no accident and we were under attack.
One of my best friends (the girl in the middle of the picture, I am the brunette on the right hand side of the photos) was actually trampled and thrown to the blood splattered ground when it first happened. She was able to get up and keep running but when I turned around to seek all my friends, I could not see her and panicked. Finally, by the grace of God, she emerged from the chaos and smoke and screamed "Candace!!" (my name) and I ran back a few steps to grab her by the hand and then we continued to run frantically away from the explosion. The whole time we were running, especially after hearing a 2nd explosion, all we could think is "oh my god, is another bomb going to go off and where?" "will be blown up while we're escaping from this terrifying hell?" "is Shannon (our runner friend) okay?" "are all my other friends scattered throughout the marathon route okay?". There were just so many terrible, unthinkable things running through my head and I just felt a complete sense of terror and helplessness as we did our best to seek safety and exit the city.
Since getting a cab was impossible and public transportation was not an option, the group of us made our way as far as we could from the scene (along with hundreds of others). Our only option was to walk several miles all the way home to South Boston where we all reside. I had an overwhelming amount of texts, calls, Facebook messages and voicemails from loved ones, friends and people I have not spoken to or seen in months/years who had been watching the news coverage not knowing if we were okay and even worse, if we were alive. We had uploaded the photo of us in front of the flags just minutes before the bombing occurred so they knew we were in the heart of the madness. As soon as cell phone service was working again I did my best to call my parents and boyfriend first to tell them i'm alive and to please strart spreading the word to everyone else, especially the parents of my friends, as we were still all just trying to walk to safety.
Another really tragic spin on my personal story, is my friend, Keri (blonde girl, pictured on the left hand side of the photo) lost her dad during the 9/11 World Trade Center bombings. He lost his life in the towers and she has never been the same since that day. Now, she herself had to experience this terrorist attack first hand and she is taking it even harder than the rest of us. We were all terrified for our lives, but Keri did not deserve to have this happen to her. She is such a strong woman and has yet again proved that she is a survivor.
When all is said and done I am just thankful that we are all alive and am so grateful for everyone's support during this difficult time. We were some of the lucky ones and our hearts and prayers go out to all those victims who were not as fortunate. I would also like to acknowledge the brave first responsers and regular civilians who ran towards to blasts to save other's lives as so many of us rany away to save our own lives. Their acts of bravery and selflessness helped and saved so many innocent people who fell victim to this senseless act.
God Bless Boston! I am confident that justice will be served and we, as a city, will prevail even stronger than before.