One Year Later

4/15/13 ? BOSTON ? First responders rush to the scene where two bombs exploded along the final stretch of the Boston Marathon on Boylston Street on April 15, 2013. (Kelvin Ma)

It’s April 15.

It’s pouring rain outside, but still warm — spring is definitely here. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that I’ve thought about what today would be like every day for the past year.

I’ve written about my experience from the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombings already, so I’ll try to keep this post brief. My thoughts have been a bit of a jumble for the past few weeks as the 1-year anniversary has approached, so forgive this stream-of-consciousness approach, if you can.

As much as I’ve tried to move on, the crush of media coverage has been overwhelming, unavoidable and unbearable at times. It’s a strange feeling, being a member of the news media and all. I’ve received a bunch of interview requests from other outlets regarding my coverage from the Marathon, but I’ve found myself ignoring them and wishing that they’d just give me an assignment instead. I think it’s part of trying to move forward. Let me continue telling the story instead of dwelling on the past. Of course, that’s easier said than done.

Just this past Sunday, I walked to the completed finish line for the first time since last year to shoot a video piece on the One Run for Boston as it turned on to Boylston Street. I had to take pause walking toward that bridge, remembering what it was like the year before, and me running into the smoke and up those stairs. Carlos Arredondo, the man in the cowboy hat, was on the other side, waiting with some of the survivors. I took the opportunity to reintroduce myself, tell him I shot the other photo of him saving Jeff Bauman’s life that day. I got teary eyed when I told him what it meant to me that he saved Jeff’s life. He gave me a hug, and I went back to work.

The next day, I read a piece by Jeff about the photo my friend and colleague Charlie Krupa took of him from the lower angle.

A few weeks ago, I met the photographer, Charlie Krupa, for the first time. He works for the Associated Press, and he came to my house to photograph my fiancée and I for an article.

The first thing he said to me was, “I’m sorry.”

 

That surprised me. I didn’t think he’d feel any guilt or regret, because he hadn’t done anything wrong.

 

I told Charlie not to worry. He was doing his job that day, and he was doing it well. People still write me to say how much the photo meant to them. I told Charlie that I understand now, like I didn’t then, that he was helping us that day, in the best way he knew how. He was documenting what happened. He was showing the world the truth – that bombs tear flesh and smash bones – and making the tragedy real.

 

via the Guardian

Though he wasn’t referring to my photograph specifically, I appreciated what he wrote. It’s a conclusion I had to come to in order to cope with that guilt that I felt — and believe me there have been some rough patches — but it meant so much more coming from him. So, in the slim chance that Jeff Bauman is reading this, I just want to thank you for your understanding and forgiveness.

It’s been a process, for sure, and the best I can do is just continue looking forward. Thankfully, in the past year, I’ve had a supportive group of friends and family every step of the way. I’ve discovered a wonderful community of awesome athletes who have taught me that anything is possible in the November Project.

Like we say at NP, I’m going to go ahead and drop a #verbal for the 2015 Boston Marathon and borrow some words from my friend and Herald colleague Tom Layman, who was a welcome face to see on Boston Common the day of the bombing as the National Guard rolled in:

… Here we are are, one year since that day. WE are bigger, WE are better and WE are stronger than ever before.

 

Can’t wait to get in the field for the 2015 race.

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