By Ramon Lontok
LBCC students and employees reacted after two bomb explosions killed three people and injured more than 175 people at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15.
“The person responsible shouldn’t be allowed to live,” Shelby Bissacio, a 21-year-old business major said. “Those kids have their whole lives ahead of them and it’s sad we can’t even do simple things, like running a marathon, without someone trying to hurt innocent people.”
Margaret Shannon, an English professor at LBCC who ran the marathon in 2008, said, “Having run the Boston marathon, I find these explosions at the finish line unbelievable. There’s always a risk of death on a marathon, but this is a new risk of death.”
Shannon, who will participate in her 43rd marathon next month, called the incident “tragic” and said that as a runner, “as much as marathons blister our feet, they heal our hearts.”
Shannon even recalled the day she landed in Boston a couple of years ago to participate in the marathon.
“I remember in 2008 I was about to land in Boston, my eyes looked over the city and I felt very proud,” Shannon said. “To be able to say the Pledge of Allegiance again, the marathon did that for me. The Boston Marathon gave me back my country.”
Allison Murray Pop, also an English teacher who has completed three marathons, said, “I know that as you approach the finish line, you experience the greatest pain and elation that a person can ever know. And with the Boston Marathon, you have to multiply that by 10.”
Pop added now the Boston Marathon is a “mecca for marathon runners” and “it becomes a religious pilgrimage that we all want to say we accomplished.”
Lisa Suos, 28, a communications major who has a cousin studying at Boston University, said upon hearing the news she immediately checked on her family member through Facebook.
“My cousin told me everything was ok,” Suos said. “He also said they found a bomb in his dorm but the police deactivated it right away.”
Julio Avila, 20, an English major, said two students from his jazz history class knew people who were near the scene of the explosions.
“One student’s friend crossed the finish line before the bomb went off,” Avila said, “while the other student’s sister lived a block away from the explosion.”
Jacky Ly, 21, a sociology major, said, “I was watching the news at work and I heard some people say that terrorists are behind it. I think they should stop pointing fingers because the police don’t have any evidence yet.”
Shannon, as she continued to weigh in on the explosions, said, “Whoever did this really do know their iconographies, but why let violence grab hold of something with iconographic value? Runners go the distance, some of us keep running and we will go on.”