Eyewitness to the Boston Marathon Bombing Terror

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Have you ever been in the presence of evil? Where you literally FELT it? I have…

On April 15, 2013.  In the grandstands at the Boston Marathon.

My husband and I had the distinct privilege of cheering on my cousin, Amby Burfoot, as he ran the 45th anniversary of his 1968 Boston Marathon WIN. Yes, indeed, WIN.

We joined the elite marathon crowd at Cheers to the Boston Marathon, the Mayor’s Breakfast where 4 prior Boston Marathon winners were honored, the Runner’s World Boston Marathon celebration followed by VIP access to the gala and grandstands during the race. Can I simply say BUCKET LIST?!

Who knew this trip would be marked by a milestone moment in my life?

Amby was running in Wave 3 as family and friends were running with him. Why? To commemorate this monumental moment in his legendary running career. Amby was about 5 minutes out when a blast shattered the balmy day, fire leapt over 5 stories high in front of Marathon Sports, nails ripped into flesh and evil made an entrance.

Time warped. The black glass above LensCrafters literally popped out of the window frame and hung in mid-air prior to plummeting to the ground. The grandstands emptied as smoke – and people – dissipated. Holt calmly stated, “Wait so we don’t get trampled.”

Amby’s wife was following Amby in a van. I promptly texted her, “Two bombs just blew up.”

“Where?” she responded.

“The finish line,” I replied.

She reached Amby prior to cell phone coverage ceasing. “Meet us at the hotel,” was all she got out as he hit the wall of people piling up. Did you know? That was the first time Amby ever ran with a cell phone.

My favorite verse in the Bible came to mind, so I prayed fervently, “For He orders His angels to protect you, wherever you go.” Psalm 91:11. After that, the only other word I recalled was JESUS, which became my prayer mantra.

Want to see what I saw of the Boston Marathon bombing when I looked up?

Boston Marathon Grandstands Susan B Mead

Now, would you like to compare that to a photo of the Boston Marathon bombing published in Runner’s World May 2013?

Boston Marathon Bombing Runner's World

Do you see the people dressed in blue and yellow on one side of the street outlined in yellow and others dressed in red and green outlined in red on the other side of the street? Do the two photos look like the same scene taken within seconds of each other, 180 degrees apart? Incredible timing…

Oh, by the way, see the white outline in the grandstands with the person in a white jacket? That’s me, with my husband Holt behind me clad in dark somber gray…

Another milestone moment happened recently…

BOSTON, MA — The first woman and the first Hispanic to head the U.S. District Attorney’s office in Massachusetts, Carmen Ortiz, led the case against Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 21, who was recently convicted and sentenced to death.

Click Here to finish reading this compelling NBC News article about the prosecutor for the Boston Marathon bomber.


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29 thoughts on “Eyewitness to the Boston Marathon Bombing Terror

  1. Thanks so much for joining the #sundaysdownunder linky party. I’ve pinned and tweeted your very powerful post. Thanks for sharing your words of wisdom and faith.

    Best wishes,
    Natasha in Oz

  2. Susan, it’s so good to know that God is orchestrating the events of our lives and that EVERYTHING is filtered through His fingers, especially at a time like that!

    Thanks so much for sharing and for linking up at Mondays @ Soul Survival. I pinned on my Mondays board, too! Blessings!

  3. Hey Susan, I cannot imagine a more sobering moment. What an unspeakable tragedy, but also an opportunity to lift up the name of Jesus and see God’s wondrous power as he heals the hearts of that entire city. Thank you for sharing this, friend.

  4. Wow, (((Hug))) Glad that y’all are all okay.
    I love the power of the name of Jesus. Active power in the name itself.
    We are so blessed to be His people.

    Thanks for sharing,

  5. What an amazing story, Susan. So glad that God commanded His safety over you and your family. Blessed to be your neighbor today at #coffeeforyourheart.

  6. Incredible story, Susan. So glad that God did command safety over you and your family. Amazing the intricacies of His hand at work in our lives. Thank you for sharing. Glad to be your neighbor at #tellhisstory.

  7. Susan – I used to pray Psalm 91 over my deployed husband when he was in Iraq. Powerful, isn’t it? And I would insert his name. I can’t imagine actually being in the grandstands as you describe. Incredible, and yes, you were in the presence of evil. But I’ll bet that if evil looked over at you, you were shining with God’s glory -“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17 (NIV) I hope you have a SAFE, wonderful holiday weekend.

  8. Wow~ Amazing that you were there in the middle of the chaos! We never know what a day holds, do we?

    I came over on the Finding Rest Link up. I’ve also joined you for the You Are Invited Link up. Glad to connect with you on Social Media.

    Hope you have a blessed and safe day~

    1. Yes ma’am, Melanie. We don’t know what the day holds for us. Thank you for linking up. And for joining the book blog tour. Hugs. Susan

  9. My brother and sister-in-law were there that day as well. My sis-in-law had just finished only a few minutes prior to the explosion. It was terrifying for us back at home as well because they were having a hard time calling us to tell us they were ok! What a day. Anyway, what a great verse to remember when you are scared of a loved ones safety! Stopping by from Women with Intention. -Jess

    1. Jess, thank God she was past that point. It was so scary when nobody could communicate. HUGS – for the remembrance of that time.

  10. As I have read through and perused your blog, I find it very inspiring and spiritual. So many tragedies touch as a nation. Thank you for sharing. Happy to be co-hosting #OMHGWW with you, Susan.

  11. Wow! I have no words! To think that you were there to witness an event marked by hatred and evil. I can only imagine all that God has taught you since that day. God works through evil for good and I keep praying that we see more good than evil ahead in our lives. Blessings friend!

  12. WOW, Susan. Just wow. I don’t know that I have any words right now! Very moving…

    “For He orders His angels to protect you, wherever you go.” I love the way He brought that to mind in the midst of this. I’ll remember that!

    Thank you for sharing!!! #RaRaLinkup

  13. Wow. What a terrifying experience! The most moving part, for me, was this: “only other word I recalled was JESUS, which became my prayer mantra.” The bomb might have been loud, but the word of Jesus is far more powerful. Thanks for the amazing pictures, and I’m so glad you all are safe.

    1. Yes ma’am, Karen. Jesus IS THE one Word we can say that has power over everything and every situation. Thank God He gave us His Son and the authority to say Jesus.

  14. my adult daughter was there that day…though not at the finish line. She and some friends had were going to the Bruins game and had come into town early to watch the Marathon. She called me from the train station to say she was safe and they were headed home. We live on the north shore of Boston and I can see the Boston skyline over the ocean from my home. That was a very sad day in our nation’s history.

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