Survivors keep busy as Boston Marathon approaches
BOSTON (AP) — Survivors of last year’s twin bombings at the Boston Marathon say they have mixed feelings as this year’s race day approaches.
Roseann Sdoia, who lost most of one of her legs in the attack, said she’s not sure if she’ll attend, especially after a hoax bomb was left at the Boylston Street finish line following Tuesday’s anniversary tribute.
“It brought those memories back,” she said Friday before an event hosted by the Challenged Athletes Foundation. “Why put my family and friends in the same situation if it were to actually happen, you know? It was just concerning. So it’s still a game day decision for me.”
Sdoia said for many survivors the days leading up to the race have been filled with “welcome distractions,” like Friday’s event, which was meant, in part, to honor the survivors and their recovery. Public appearances, media interviews and gatherings with friends and relatives keep many of them from dwelling too long on how much has changed, she said.
Heather Abbott, who lost part of her left leg in the attack and was in attendance Friday, agreed.
“It’s temporary. It’s not normally this crazy,” she said.
Abbott plans to spend most of marathon day with friends at the restaurant where she was last year when one of the bombs detonated. Then she’ll use a special running leg to cross the finish line with a woman who helped her get to safety after the second bomb detonated.
The pressure cooker bombs killed three people and injured more than 260 others. Two brothers, Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, ethnic Chechens who lived in the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan and the Dagestan region of Russia, were accused of the bombings. Tamerlan Tsarnaev died following a shootout with police days after the bombings. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured and has pleaded not guilty to federal charges.
Another bombing victim, Celeste Corcoran, said she shares Sdoia’s concerns and Abbott’s excitement for race day. Like Abbott, she’s been outfitted with a running prosthesis by the foundation.
She and her daughter intend to join her sister, who is running the marathon, just as she crosses the finish line.
“I’m doing it to claim back that space that was robbed from us last year,” said Corcoran. “It’s going to be empowering to cross that finish line. I’m just looking forward to accomplishing this and putting it behind us.”