Two intentional explosions at the Boston Marathon went off on Monday, killing three people and injuring nearly 200 runners and spectators.
The mass explosion in the heart of Boston on Patriots’ Day struck the nation at its core. Reeling from the horrific images flooding the media, the United States now awaits answers about what some deem the first terror attack since Sept. 11.
“I have been watching the news since it happened and it still is shocking to me,” said junior Sam Maruscak.
According to multiple sources, including The New York Times and The Huffington Post, the two bombs exploded by the finish line and were just 10 seconds apart and spread out by 550 feet. Boston’s hospitals have claimed that around 170 people flooded their emergency rooms, many of which required amputations.
The two bombs were loaded with shrapnel that included nails and BB gun pellets, according to authorities and various doctors from the Boston hospitals.
One orthopedic surgeon in these emergency rooms was Dr. Peter Burke, who serves as the chief of trauma surgery at Boston Medical Center. In a report by The New York Times, Burke expressed the shock of the atmosphere, explaining that “we see patients like this with mangled extremities…but we don’t see 16 of them at a time.”
Patients were being rushed to the nearest hospitals with nails buried in their bodies, while some had appendages just barely attached to them. The pictures and videos that have surfaced are hard to watch.
Nearly right after the attack, the FBI began a federal investigation. In a press conference, President Obama promised that those responsible would feel the “full weight of justice.”
Despite multiple conflicting reports- a frequent problem since the bombings- there has yet to be an arrest made, but there appears to be progress. Investigators have found surveillance from a department store camera across the road from the attack that captured video of a man dropping a black duffel bag near the scene of the explosion, according to various news reports, including one by The Los Angeles Times.
Americans are waiting to put a face to the horrendous crime and even a possible affiliation to a terrorist group.
“I don’t know if it was a known group, but an attack like this makes it a terrorist attack either way,” said junior Richard Ramdeen.
Heavy debate over whether it was a possible attack by an international terrorist group or a homegrown criminal has surfaced in the media. In a report by Fox News, some of the components of the bombs are similar to those used by organizations in the Middle East. The pressure cookers that were used to cause the explosions have been used often in some major Al Qaeda-related acts of terrorism and has even been, according to Fox News, “touted in the Al Qaeda in Yemen’s online propaganda magazine ‘Inspire’ and in the ‘The Anarchist Cookbook.'”
The images and stories that continue to surface have hit Americans hard, especially marathon runners. Colin English, a junior member of the Ramapo men’s cross-country team is one of those runners.
“I would still run in the Boston Marathon given the opportunity. You cannot let something like that stop you from what you plan on doing,” said English. “I can understand those who were there not wanting to go through that especially if it happened in another marathon, but it will not stop every runner.”
As the United States begins to heal from this wound, England is preparing for its own marathon Sunday and does not plan on postponing the event. However, BBC reports that there has been a review on the amount of security planned for the marathon. The marathon in New York, scheduled to take place in November, is also expected to have extra security but will commence nonetheless.
For now, Americans are waiting for the pieces of the puzzle to come together as officials continue to investigate.
Every American has the possibility of helping, as the American Red Cross is holding blood drives for those in Boston. For those interested in helping, find a local blood drive on www.redcrossblood.org.