Written by Matthew Harper. Media by Bobby Williams.
The Boston Marathon is an annual tradition dating back to 1897, making it the oldest such contest in the world. Every year, thousands of people make their way to Boston from around the world to participate in the event and, until Monday, it had usually been a joyous occasion.
Shortly before 3 p.m. Eastern time, two blasts went off near the finish line of the marathon. The explosions have left 3 people dead, 176 injured, and an entire nation searching for answers. Contrary to reports that circulated shortly after the explosions Monday afternoon, no additional explosive devices were found. President Barack Obama has called the attack an act of terror, but there are no clear leads as of this time and no arrests have been made.
“We will find whoever harmed our citizens and we will bring them to justice,” Obama said, but as the entire nation operates on heightened security today, the search for answers is only beginning. The FBI says that they have no knowledge of any threats before or during the race, making the attack all the more frightening. Richard DesLauriers, the FBI agent leading the investigation of the bombing, says that the FBI and other involved agencies “will go to the ends of the Earth to identify the subject or subjects who are responsible for this despicable crime” (BBC News).
Out of the three people who were killed in the attack, the youngest was 8-year-old Martin Richard. Richard’s whole family was on the sidelines of the race to watch, and his mother and sister were both injured as well. Reuters also reports that a 2-year-old girl was treated at Boston Children’s Hospital for “head wounds.”
According to Reuters, trauma surgeons at the Boston hospitals who treated victims of the blast indicated that most of the injuries involved lower bodies, indicating that the explosions happened low to the ground. It’s believed that the explosives were made using pressure cookers, gunpowder, and shrapnel. Multiple hospitals received victims of the blast, and the Red Cross stated that the overwhelmingly helpful response by people in the area meant that plenty of needed blood was donated and available to them. There were many reports of people doing everything they could to help in the minutes following the heinous attack, including some who had already finished the marathon running ahead to hospitals to donate blood and multiple onlookers of the explosion making their way towards the blasts instead of away to do anything they could to help.
In dark times such as these, it is important to do anything possible to lend a hand to those in need. The world sees far too much of this sort of thing in our time, and anyone lucky enough to not have been touched by a tragedy such as this one needs to step up and do his or her part to help those who were affected.