Memories of Monday

More than two days since a deadly attack at the Boston Marathon that injured more than 150 individuals and killing three, residents in Boston are trying to move on. Two former area residents now residing in Boston are recounting what happened during that unfortunate day.

Former Fredonia resident Keriann Ketcham moved to Boston in December. She was about a block away from the bombings on her lunch break.

“I just went down to go grocery shopping. It was just a couple blocks away where the finish line was,” Ketcham said. “My receipt said 2:44 and the first bomb went off at 2:51 (p.m.) I could see the finish line but I had to get back to work so I wasn’t right there (where the bombs went off). If I didn’t have to go back to work, I probably would have been walking toward that area.”

While returning to work, Ketcham said she heard the two bombs go off. Ketcham, who was walking alone, said she heard the explosions but could not talk to anyone about what is going on. Most people on the street looked up to the sky. Ketcham called the whole ordeal “terrifying and scary.”

“The street just went silent. Everyone turned and instinctively looked up to the sky. I even heard someone in the street say ‘It could have been a truck,'” Ketcham said. “I keep walking and 12 seconds later, it happened again. That (explosion) was louder because we were a couple blocks closer. The looks on people’s faces were terrifying. I looked over to the police officers directing traffic and they were on their cell phones and started running to the finish line.”

Ketcham said she got back on the subway and went back to work. She tried looking up online what the noise had been with no avail. About 10 minutes later, Ketcham received a text message asking if she was OK and that is when she heard about the bombings. She was overwhelmed by the amount of people showing concern for her.

“All the phone lines went down because they thought people were setting off the bombs through their cell phones, and no one could reach me. It was weird being on that end. I’m a runner and some people even thought I would be running. Just the amount of people I haven’t heard from in so long asking ‘Are you OK?’… It’s really comforting knowing that so many people care,” Ketcham said.

Even with the bombings, Ketcham said she felt safe in the city and was not nervous to go home Monday night. Her roommate, she said, had stayed at work until police cleared the area. Ketcham, who works in an immigration law firm, said one of the clients works at a hospital and was telling about the cooperation among everyone on Tuesday.

“One of our clients works at one of the big hospitals. She came in (Tuesday) … and she was telling from her perspective, saying how she has never seen such a vast and quick response from the hospital. It was swift and well organized,” she said.

Shawn Bingham from Jamestown has lived in Boston for eight months now. He said he was on the subway headed toward downtown when the bombings happened.

“I was probably a few stops before downtown crossing when they told us about it. They didn’t tell us exactly what happened but said it was a medical emergency, and we weren’t going to be stopping at downtown,” Bingham said. “You felt the rumbles in the station. So hearing a boom on a train coming from above, you think it’s another train passing by.”

Bingham said he had to get off the subway and started walking. He ended up walking the wrong way by accident and was walking toward the finish line of the marathon.

“I started walking toward South Station but I didn’t know what way to go. I ended up walking toward (the bombings). When I’m walking that way you could see all the cops, you couldn’t get really close. Even with all the cops it smelled like charred flesh. It was really, really bad,” he said.

Bingham said he got onto a bus to finish going to South Station, and that is when he found out about the bombings when two women were discussing the incidents. Since the bombings, the city of Boston is trying to get back to normal. Both Ketcham and Bingham noted there has been beefed up security on the subways. Police have been doing random baggage checks.

“On the subways, at pretty much all the stops there are armed guards … with big guns doing random baggage checks. Lots of them everywhere,” Ketcham said.

Bingham said riding the subway the past two days compared to the past two months has been “nerve-wracking.” He also said police are starting to check bus passengers in addition to subway riders. The atmosphere is still a bit eerie in the city, according to Ketcham but many are trying to return to their normal routines.

“It was quiet and kind of eerie. (Tuesday), on the subway and in the downtown area, people were morose. (Wednesday) it seems like people were more calm and back to normal,” she said.

Bingham said he was proud of the city for keeping their cool throughout the day on Monday.

“I have to commend the city overall. (The incident) was completely unexpected but people did not lose their heads. You have to give props to a city like Boston to pull through something like that,” he said. “People were pretty calm, that’s a big thing I noticed. People were remaining calm, even EMT workers.”

While both Ketcham and Bingham escaped without injury, both kept the victims of the tragedy in their minds. Bingham said he would like to volunteer to help the victims and their families by raising money. Ketcham wishes no other tragedies of this magnitude happens again.

“I hope everybody is OK and stuff like this just stops happening,” she said.

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