Remembering the Boston Marathon Bombing

10th anniversary calls for recollection


Anna Williams

When you think of crises that have had entire nations disrupted and, through that disturbance, unified in seeking justice, you are bound to not forget them. These crises become a part of the nation’s history and identity, and peoples’ reactions become a defining reality. When people emerge from disunity to join together in prayer and fight against an evil they have witnessed, it is a powerful thing.

The Boston Marathon Bombing was a terrorist attack that occurred on April 15, 2013. This year marks its 10th anniversary. On that day, ten years ago, two “pressure-cooker bombs,” created by Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his younger brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were placed and went off at the end of the finish line, killing three innocent spectators and wounding countless others. Following an intense manhunt, Tamerlan died in an altercation with law enforcement prior to his younger brother’s capture, and soon after Dzhokhar was found and taken into custody.

What was meant to be a day of accomplishment and excitement had been taken away and remembered as horrific, with innocent blood being spilled. Destruction and chaos filled the streets of a finish line that was previously anticipated. This day is something no one could forget, so I wonder why I am barely hearing of its anniversary.

I think it is sad that the only reason I remembered it was because of the release of the new documentary on Netflix that is titled, “American Manhunt: The Boston Marathon Bombing.” Although the documentary neglects the specifics of Dzhokhar’s trial, it was insightful in showing and including the bombing itself, personal testimonies, the investigation process, stories of the terrorists and the manhunt that led to their capture. It was very compelling to watch and more importantly, informative. In watching it, I realized the importance of ensuring that acts of violence not be forgotten and their victims remembered.

Though the parts of the film that involved the investigation and manhunt were interesting to learn of and thrilling to witness, what is most important is that we remember the lives affected and lost that day. There were, in particular, three victims who lost their lives during this horrific tragedy. Lu Lingzi, a 23-year-old Boston University graduate student from China; Krystle Campbell, a 29-year-old from Massachusetts; and Martin Richard, an 8-year-old who had gone to watch the race with his family. In remembering this day, we should all be remembering them.

It makes me sad that instead of choosing to amplify victims’ voices and do more in memory of those who lost their lives, many are only focused on analyzing the intentions behind the terrorists and the crime that they committed. I can just imagine how painful it is for them to relive this atrocity every year and realize that no one else really does — it must feel so isolating.

Eight months before the tragedy, Lu Lingzi had moved to Boston— a city she had come to admire— from China. She had dreamed of studying at Boston University and making a name for herself. Described as a hard-working and ambitious woman with a drive and passion like no other, her friends and family said she wanted to accomplish a lot in her life.

Krystle Campbell was described as the glue that held people together. According to her friends, she did not hesitate to take charge and never shied away from a challenge. She ran everything and took care of everyone, willing to help those who needed it and ensure the happiness of those surrounding her. She was described by her family as being full of energy and life.

According to his family, Martin Richard was a charismatic young boy — kind, loving, and smiling his way through any inconvenience. His sister, Jane, recalls him as being empathetic and responsive to those around him. To her, he was honest, witty and sarcastic, never failing to be a good brother. In his memory, the Richard Family remains involved in volunteering and dedicating themselves to helping others.

Though it is important that we remember the Boston Marathon Bombing for the actual act of terrorism that occurred to ensure senseless killing is not recurrent and understand why people resort to violence, it is crucial that we not forget the people who were affected by this tragedy — the people who will never be the same following this tribulation. We are all human and called, in responsibility, to bear witness and stand by the victims. We have the responsibility to not forget.