Boston: ‘I was on the block between the two explosions.’



This morning we woke to the news that at least three people were killed after a series of bomb explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. 

Hundreds more have been injured.

This is a post from Lisa Hickey. Lisa was in Boston watching her daughter compete in the race and was standing on the street between the two blasts when they went off.

This is her account. 



My daughter Allie, 21, was running the Marathon — her first. My younger daughter, Shannon, 17 went with my ex-husband Mark and I to cheer Allie at the halfway point in Wellesley. After seeing Allie, and getting a sense of her timing, we dashed into Boston to watch her cross the finish line.

Shannon and I were on the corner of Exeter and Boylston — my son John and other daughter Kit were somewhere in the crowd but we hadn’t caught up with them. The crowds were 3 or 4 rows deep so Mark, my ex, walked down a few blocks to see if he could get us a better spot. Shannon and I were peering over people’s heads, and we knew Allie was close to the finish because we started to see people finishing the marathon who we had seen at the halfway point.

The first explosion sounded like a gas explosion — like a manhole cover had blown up. White smoke started shooting straight up from that area. Shannon said “what was that?” and grabbed my arm. We started walking quickly away from the area — I felt I had to get her to safety, and find Allie. Then the second explosion happened, louder, the ground shook. I didn’t realize at the time, but it was coming from the direction we were walking towards. At that point it was starting to get chaotic, and people were running and shouting that it was a bomb. My mind had been slow processing that it was a bomb before someone said the word “bomb” out loud, but as soon as they did, I thought, “Of course it’s a bomb. We’re at the Boston Marathon. That’s what someone who wanted to terrify people would do.”

The explosion as it happened.
The explosion as it happened.

I had the most primal urge to protect my kids at all costs. Shannon wanted to run into a building, but I was worried about the glass. We ducked into an ATM for a moment. There wasn’t any place that seemed safe, but what I really wanted to do was run down the street to find Allie.

Shannon and I were both frantically trying to get in touch with the rest of our family who had phones, but the phones weren’t working. The worst feeling was the not knowing where people were. Still, despite the panic, almost all of the people around us were helpful, calm, doing whatever they could.

By the time I was able to catch my bearings, everyone who had been injured was being helped. We had to walk by the scene of the second explosion to get out of the area. I wanted to walk up the Marathon Route to find Allie, but the police kept yelling “Get out of here.” We were finally able to meet up with my oldest daughter, my son, his girlfriend Kate, and a while later, my ex-husband a block away, on the Commonwealth Avenue mall. After what seemed like an eternity, Allie was able to borrow someone else’s phone to text us and tell us she was OK.

What struck me the most was how many people ran right towards the explosions to help, even though there was obviously still danger. The first responders are heroes.

They say you don’t know what you would do in a catastrophe until one happens. We did what we could, which wasn’t nearly as much as others. Being in the middle of that makes me want to learn first responder training, first aid, and CPR. And it makes me realize that the conversation we are having here on The Good Men Project is more important than ever.

I am so very sorry for those who were injured, and the families of those who died. Love and sympathy to all.

NOTE: I just talked to Allie by phone. She had been running the marathon on the home stretch, alone, when all of a sudden runners started turning around and running towards her. She thought “Oh, those must be the people who finished it — odd they are running back.” Then people started yelling “the marathon is cancelled”. She had no cell phone to reach us, only knew that there were explosions at the finish line. Where we were. She was finally able to borrow a cell phone and text to make sure we were ok.

If you look at this video, Shannon and I were right in the middle of the two explosions.

This post was originally published at The Good Men Project and has been republished with full permission. You can view the original here.

Lisa77Lisa Hickey is CEO of Good Men Media Inc. and publisher of the Good Men Project. “I like to create things that capture the imagination of the general public and become part of the popular culture for years to come.” Connect with her on Twitter.

Our thoughts go out to the victims and their families.


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