Only a few days after the fatal bombings at the Boston Marathon, the mood in Boston is “somber,” according to residents of the city and marathon runners from across the world who have yet to leave for home.
“A lot of the high anxiety has dissipated,” Darryl Palmer, a local security manager, told msnbc, “but I think there are still a lot of people that are still curious to find out exactly what happened. I don’t think that people have ever felt that they were back to normal in any way…I’m not sure if we’ll have a normal summer. This is something that is probably going to stay in our minds at least for the next six months, maybe a year. Probably every time they have the marathon.”
The days after the marathon were clear and warm. The famed Public Gardens, only a few blocks from the bombing site, was crowded with Bostonians undeterred by fear of subsequent attacks.
“I don’t [feel scared]. If I did, then whoever did this would win, and you just gotta keep going,” said Heath McKay, a marketing director who works in the Hancock Tower, which overlooks Copley Plaza and the bombing site. “That’s what we do: we’re Bostonians.”
“I’ve never been where there was more national guard and police and security,” said Anita Scruggs, whose husband Sam competed in the marathon. “I’ve thought about whether that was foolish, but no, I feel like were surrounded by security.”
The Scruggs flew in from Kansas to participate in what Sam calls “The Epic.” He’s proud to have finished despite the bombing, and plans to run again next year. His blue and yellow runners’ jacket was one of thousands peppering the city after the race. Usually a sign of pride and accomplishment, the jacket also represented solidarity with the nearly 5,000 runners who were not able to cross the finish line.
“It’s a tragic event,” said Boston attorney Teddy Hook. “I think the scary thing for me and for everyone in the city–the runners, the innocent bystanders–was that this almost seemed that you couldn’t prevent it…It is frustrating too: there’s a lot of conflicting reports on the news. I just think, we’re Boston, we’re a strong city. We want somebody to be brought to justice. We want somebody to be brought to justice quickly.”
“The thing that concerns me, I guess, is eventually all this is going to go away,” Palmer admitted. “And when you don’t have that heightened sense of awareness, you don’t have the assets and the resources that are visible all of the time, you know–will we get complacent again, and start thinking that it couldn’t happen to us?”