By Haley Holmes
On Monday (April 15th), two bombs detonated near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. As of now, this event has swamped all media outlets and much of the information coming in is changing rapidly.
As of April 17th the number of persons injured by the blasts is, according to both CNN and ABC News, over 170 people. Most persons injured were spectators – members of the crowd that were closest to the bombs. This resulted in both impact injuries just from the detonation, and severe internal damage and lacerations due to shrapnel. Though the number of injured is over 170, KTVU News states that, of the 27 people taken to Boston General Hospital right after the event, five of them have required amputations. In many cases, those that did not need amputations at the medical center had already lost limbs (mainly feet or legs) because of the explosions. In short, though the bombs did not cause widespread death, they did cause extreme and potentially life-altering injuries to many of those present.
Unfortunately, the bombs did in fact claim three lives on Monday. They include an eight year old boy, a 29 year old woman, and a college student. This loss of life is tragic, but is an incredibly small number. The least we can do right now is be thankful that it was not more.
As of today, it is still unclear who is responsible for this event. While many media outlets and some government officials are calling it a terrorist attack, we do not know for sure if the source is foreign or domestic. It is far too early, and much too dangerous, to jump to conclusions now. However, the FBI and Boston Police are actively analyzing the scene and evidence in the hopes of finding something soon. Nevertheless, both departments are requesting help from the community. As Rick DesLauriers, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston office states, “cooperation from the community will play a crucial role in this investigation.” Already people have handed over photographs and personal videos from the marathon in an attempt to help investigators. according to CNN, two men have been targeted as suspects from such photos. However no arrests have been made yet.
In spite of the chaos and pain these bombs have caused, events like these are just proof of our strength as a community. Right after the bombs went off, many could be seen running towards the scene, helping the injured and doing their best to curtail the damage. In fact, as many people are reporting, several runners who had just completed the 26 mile marathon continued running passed the finish line and straight towards the nearest hospital, still a few miles away, in an attempt to donate blood. This event is increasingly being compared to the terrorist attacks of 9/11, and much like that attack, the people of Boston rallied together to bring aid and comfort to all those affected. Truly if the intention of the bombs was to cause despair and panic, they attackers have not only failed, but worked against themselves.
Though three have died, the more than 170 people injured are expected to survive. This event has tested the strength not only of Boston, but of all Americans. Currently we have proven that in the face of disaster, we only get stronger. There is no doubt that in the coming weeks the FBI and the Boston police department will be able to put a face to the bombs and complete what President Obama promised: that the perpetrators will be found, and brought to justice.