By Jarrod Harris
Times West Virginian
A day that ended in disaster.
For my former colleague and good friend Nicole Lemal, she witnessed the unthinkable on Monday afternoon in Boston.
“I never would have expected that would have happened in a million years,” Lemal said. “It’s a place where dreams come true and people celebrate together with their accomplishments.”
The race that she is referring to, of course, is the Boston Marathon — a race that hosts more than 20,000 runners every year — a race that is supposed to be both fun but also competitive.
On Monday, as everyone already knows, there were bombs that detonated, causing chaos and anguish to the runners.
The bombs threatened many, while harming more than 100 innocent civilians. The catastrophe also took the lives of three people who were living strong and healthy lives — one of which was an 8-year-old boy named Martin Richard.
“At 7 (yesterday) morning, WBOY showed a picture of the boy who died,” Lemal said. “It was such a tragedy. I believe that the picture was taken that day. He had a big, toothy grin. ... He was with his mother and sister, who are now in the hospital and are being treated with severe injuries.
“I also think about what could have been for the other people who lost their lives or lost limbs. I thank God nothing happened to me or my mom. It breaks my heart that so many people risked their lives unwillingly to participate in the Boston Marathon, an event that should be joy and celebration. But, that’s all changed after (Monday).”
Although the terrorist act resulted in so many life changes, Lemal is unscathed from the event. The only thing that will linger is the scar that is in her mind.