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In Boston, kindness amid the chaos

They opened their homes to marathon runners with nowhere to stay, offered rides, and sought out blood drives.
Credit: REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
Credit: REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

They opened their homes to marathon runners with nowhere to stay, offered rides, and sought out blood drives. Even as the residents of Boston searched for loved ones and waited for news about the the explosions that killed three and injured 176 others, they pulled together to offer comfort to victims and one another.

Speaking Tuesday morning, President Obama thanked the individuals who rushed to the aid of others in the immediate aftermath of the bombings. "The first responders who ran into chaos to save and women still treating the wounded...If you want to know who we are, who America is and how we respond to evil, that's it. Selflessly, compassionately, unafraid."

At a press conference, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino spoke of the city's collective loss. "Here we know our neighbors and grieve for them, for the little boy in Dorchester," he said of the death of 8-year-old Martin Richard, whose mother and sister were also injured in the blasts.

"This is a bad day for Boston, but if we pull together, we'll get through it," he said.

Even in the midst of Monday's chaos, people did just that. There were reports of marathon runners crossing the race's finish line and continuing to Massachusetts General Hospital to donate blood, and within hours of the bombings, people were posting on Facebook to volunteer couches and shelter to runners displaced by the ongoing investigation.

Law enforcement officials are asking for any video or photos of Monday's events that might help the investigation. Investigators have already received "voluminous tips over the past 18 hours," according to FBI Special Agent Rick DesLauriers.

Democratic Representative Stephen Lynch spoke of community on Tuesday's Morning Joe.

“Boston’s really a small city of neighborhoods,” he said.“We all know those families. They’re part of our community.” In the wake of the attack, Lynch has felt that community broaden.  “We can already feel that outpouring of love from our neighbors,” he said. “Here in the city of Boston, across the state and across the country.”