Boston events touch all parts of this country

Posted April 24, 2013 at 12:08 pm

BABBLING BROOKS column–Express Editor Kim Brooks

What a news week!

Coming to work last Monday morning, paper day at the Express, all of our minds are focused on getting the newspaper laid out and all of the articles, photos and ads accounted for.

What transpired throughout the day on Monday in Boston, Mass., had us all glued to our TVs, computers and smart phones throughout the office.

This devastating national event took our focus from the task at hand. When we learned that a Monticello resident, Jen Petersen, was running the race and her young kids were with her as well, watching her compete in yet another marathon. Through the power of social media, we saw that the Petersen family was okay, though how is anyone ever going to be “okay” after witnessing the bombings at one of the most popular sporting events in this country?

As the week went on, the national media was trying to keep up with the manhunt in Boston just as a deadly explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, literally sent shock waves through that area. Homes, buildings, lives were destroyed by that freak explosion.

Sad events all around…

Watching national news broadcasts, anchors were scattered all over the country, from Boston to Texas, covering the latest of both major events, bringing us the most up to date news.

It seemed like every day a new development arose from Boston. On Friday night, I came home from work and was glued to my TV as the live events played outright in front of me.

Brian Williams with NBC News interviewed a retired investigator in the immediate aftermath of authorities capturing the 19-year-old bomber alive. This man said he has never seen a case like this spread like a wildfire. As soon as the FBI decided to release the images and video of the two bombers to help identify them, the footage went viral! People were sharing the images on Facebook and Twitter left and right. Local news and national news websites were plastering the suspects’ photos on their homepages for all to see.

This investigator said by releasing these photos, the FBI was able to get the help they needed in identifying the two men.

I was blown away by the swiftness of this manhunt myself. Just four days after the marathon took place, the authorities not only had sound footage of the bombers, but also had their names, ages and possible location in Watertown, Mass.

When I went to bed late Thursday night, the latest news was that the FBI had footage of the bombers, but had not identified them. When I woke up on Friday morning to watch the Today show (my normal morning routine), I turned on the TV in the midst of a breaking news conference where they announced someone was shot and killed and someone was still on the loose.

Throughout the course of the broadcast, I pieced the information together that one of the suspects had died and another was still out there.

By Friday night, it all came to an end.

It was emotional watching the live footage after all was said and done. The people of the greater Boston area were on the streets, cheering on the law enforcement officials, fire departments and all those involved in capturing the suspects. These people were held captive in their homes for an entire day, and now they were free and showed their appreciation by cheering, thanking the authorities, waving American flags and singing the popular Boston tune “Sweet Caroline.”

As with any major news event, the media is all over it. The Express is able to bring you our coverage of the Boston marathon thanks to Sports Editor Pete Temple and those with local ties who were there that day, either running or taking it all in as a spectator. Without their willingness to speak about that day, as hard as it must has been to relive, the story could not have been told to our readers.

It’s great to know Jen and Lindsay and their families are safe and sound. Thanks to them for a wonderful account of a horrific day.