By Mary O’KEEFE
The devastation of the bombings in Boston has been felt across the country, affecting Americans everywhere.
At about 2:50 p.m. [EST] on Monday, Boston police responded to two large explosions along the Boston Marathon route in the area of 673 Boylston St., according to Boston PD. The bomb killed three people – Krystle Campbell, 29, of Arlington Mass., Martine Richard, 8, of Dorchester, Mass. and Boston University graduate student Lingzu Lu. Additionally, 175 were injured.
Immediately after the bombing, local law enforcement increased its patrols. Glendale police increased their presence at locations where large numbers of people would gather, like malls, said Sgt. Tom Lorenz.
“The heightened alert of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department includes increased patrols to create a more visible presence where people congregate, such as government buildings, shopping centers, athletic events, and public transit,” said Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca. “Partnering with local police and public safety agencies and other countywide efforts have been enhanced, including opening the Sheriff’s Department Operations Center to maximize communication.”
Those increased patrols are still in affect in both the Glendale and L.A. County areas.
The advice from law enforcement is clear: “If you see something, say something.”
President Barack Obama assured the nation that an investigation would find those responsible for the bombings.
“As the nation comes to grips with Monday’s horrific events, I echo President Obama’s vow that those responsible will be made to feel the full weight of justice …. I am certain that many Americans share my determination to keep this country an open and secure society – one in which people can go to the movies, drop their kids off at school, or run in one of the world’s great marathons without fear. And I have every confidence in the resilience of the people of Boston, who have been through a terrible trauma,” stated Representative Adam Schiff, a senior member of the Intelligence Committee.
Beyond the fear and concern of who would have done this act of terrorism, there was an emotional and compassionate outreach.
“Our prayers go out to the victims of this senseless terrorist bombing and their families. While monitoring events across the nation, Los Angeles County is continually preparing for terror attacks or other disasters. This tragedy also serves to remind us that we must maintain vigilance and report any suspicious individuals or packages to authorities,” said L.A. Supervisor Michael Antonovich.
The world of runners responded as well. There were stories of everyday heroes, including marathoners, who crossed the finish line only to run to the hospital to give blood for those injured.
Runners in Southern California gathered early Wednesday morning to run in support of the Boston marathoners. Brad McDonald is a marathon runner who helped coach Rosemont Middle School students to the Los Angeles Marathon in March. He had been training this year for the L.A. Marathon with the goal of reaching the 3:30 qualifying time for the Boston Marathon. But two weeks before the L.A. run, he ended up with a partially torn Achilles, which took him out of the race.
“For me, the Boston Marathon is a precious spot: considered one of ‘the big 5’ world marathons (Boston, Chicago, New York, London and Berlin). It’s the one race that you have to qualify for, unless you run as a charity runner (running to raise money for a charity). If you run these five, you actually get a special medal,” McDonald said. “The running community is a just that: a community. A mix of people that commonly train alone or in small groups in their locale in the world to get ready to join the worldwide assortment of runners, from the highest elites to the ‘bucket-listers.’ I am always equally impressed with the fortitude of each.”
McDonald added there is an assumed safety at the races.
“To have a cowardly act like this occur is as shocking as it is angering. I expect entrance next year to be at peak. I’ll certainly be working on qualifying to stand in solidarity with the runners, the city, and our nation,” he said.
At present, the FBI has taken over the investigation. There have been reports that an arrest has been made, but according to an FBI statement on Wednesday there was no arrest: “Contrary to widespread reporting, no arrest has been made in connection with the Boston Marathon attack. Over the past day and a half, there have been a number of press reports based on information from unofficial sources that has been inaccurate. Since these stories often have unintended consequences, we ask the media, particularly at this early stage of the investigation, to exercise caution and attempt to verify information through appropriate official channels before reporting.”
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Boston police, said a Boston police spokesman.
Those wanting to contact anonymously can do so by calling the Boston Police Dept.’s Crime Stoppers Tip Line at (800) 494-TIPS (8477) or text the word TIP to CRIME.