A first-hand account of the Boston Marathon tragedy

By Diane DiStefano

Contributing Writer

EDITOR’S NOTE: Norwich attorney Diane DiStefano was one of over 23,000 runners who competed in the Boston Marathon last week. DiStefano, who finished about half an hour before the two explosions, gives her first-person account of the events that followed the two explosions.

Last Monday, April 15, 2013, myself, my husband, and mu son were in Boston as I participated in the 117th running of the Boston Marathon. It was a picture-perfect day for a run with sunny skies and cool temperatures. I had a great run, until about 10 minutes later when so many lives would be forever altered.



When I crossed the finished line, I received my medal from one of the thousands of supportive volunteers, had my metallic heat blanket wrapped around me, and went in search of my family. After a few minutes of looking, I finally called them only to find out they were stuck on the subway or “T” as it is known in Boston. I told them to get off at the Arlington Station, two blocks away from the finish line, and that I would meet them there. I hobbled to the Arlington T station and waited for their arrival. Apparently, the trains were all delayed due to the large number of people in Boston for the marathon. They finally arrived and we prepared to get on to go back to our car, a few T stops away.

As we were waiting, the transit worker came through and informed everyone that there had been an emergency, and they needed to evacuate the station. He told everyone they must go up to the street level. We truly did not think much of it, and followed hundreds of people up to the street. It was immediately apparent that something had gone horribly wrong.

Throngs of people were practically running in all directions. The look in their eyes was one I will never forget: A mixture of disbelief, terror, and shock. Helicopters were flying overhead, and numerous police vehicles were flying by; lights and sirens going.

I stopped a man walking by with his finisher medal on, and asked him what had happened. He looked at me, with his lip quivering and barely holding back tears. He said “there were explosions at the finish line, there are blood and limbs everywhere.” I asked him if lives had been, lost and he replied that from what he saw, people must have died. He then started sobbing and said he had to find his family. I apologized for keeping him and turned to tell my family what he said.


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