We can all remember where we were when certain events happened
September 11th and the assassination of JFK , among others .
I can say that I remember where I was on April 15th , 2013 .
I had just arrived in Boston at around 6 am or so , had breakfast and texted friends back in New York City and Pittsburgh to tell them that what was going on .
I described to them how festive the city was and that even some of the bars were open early .
It was a holiday in Boston , Patriots Day , which is not only a holiday in Massachusetts , but Rhode Island as well .
It’s also the day of the Boston Marathon , one of the biggest races in the country .
The runners start in the town of Hopkinton , Massachusetts and end up 26 miles later at Copley Square in Boston ,.
Many years ago , I was a race volunteer because the company that I worked for , John Hancock Insurance Company , sponsored the race .
They still do , by the way .
I hadn’t been to the marathon since I left Boston and I couldn’t wait to see this one .
I would always remember it , but not for the reason I wanted to .
At around 1: 50pm or so , I left the spot where I was watching the race on Boylston Street , in front of Lord and Taylor Department Store and headed to Prudential Center , a shopping complex in the Prudential Building .
The race wasn’t over , but I had already seen the top male , female and wheelchair runners cross the finish line , so it was time to make my way through the crowd to buy a coworker a souvenir from Boston .
By the time I did that and picked up a pastry from Crumbs Bakery , it was near 3 pm .
It didn’t cross my mind that a lot of sirens were going off as I was three blocks away .
But looking back on it , it made sense .
They were ambulance sirens .
Two bombs had gone off at the marathon .
Bombs ? !
Two bombs at the Boston Marathon ? ? !
NOOOO ! NOOOO ! NOOOO !
Some bastard actually did THIS to MY CITY ? !
I remember all the text messages and voice mails I received but couldn’t answer because because cell phone towers were down and NO ONE in the city was able to get calls .
” Jo , are you all right ? ”
” Jo Ann , it’s the job . Call us and let us know you’re all right . ”
” Jo , Michele and I are worried about you . Are you ok ? Jo , please answer . ”
Facebook was really my friend that day because that was the only way I could communicate with people .
I was first in shock , then anger .
I asked friends to pray for us up in Boston .
I didn’t have any physical scars or wounds , but mentally I have scars and still do years later .
They even made a movie about the bombing called Patriot Games , which recently came out .
I won’t see it .
I refuse to .
I don’t need to .
I was there that day .
I saw the crime scene tape around Copley Square and the place where I stood just an hour before .
That’s where one of the bombs went off .
As I said my shock turned into anger .
Anger at the two low lifes who did this to my city .
I want to know what the hell the city of Boston ever did to you to make you want to bomb a big part of it .
You injured so many and killed five Bostonians who you never knew and did nothing to you .
One of them a little boy who lived in my old neighborhood of Dorchester .
It’s going to be four years this Patriots Day and the race will go on , but I will ALWAYS remember April 15 , 2013 .
I’m not the only one .