A year ago today was the bombing at the Boston Marathon.
This unexpected and tragic event took several lives and injured hundreds, forever altering their lives as they knew them.
A year ago today I was in Boston, on the campus of the private college I attend.
I honestly couldn't tell you what I had been doing prior to discovering the news--homework probably.
I honestly don't even remember the exact moment I found out.
What I can tell you, is what happened after I found out.
I remember standing in the doorway of the lounge in my dorm, staring at the floor while listening to the frantic reporters on the news.
I didn't look at the screen, because at that point the bombs had gone off only moments before, and the news stations were putting on whatever footage they had.
I remember avoiding looking at the pictures as I listened, because the reporter was saying that already the injured were being accounted for, some of which included lost limbs.
I remember thinking that if I looked at those pictures and, by some awful chance, caught a glimpse of injuries that severe, my already sensitive constitution wouldn't hold out.
After a few minutes I wandered back to my dorm room, only to leave a few minutes later and make my way to the main building and common lounge.
There, on the big TV screen on the wall, the news was also playing.
I remember sitting on top of the ping pong table as students gathered to watch the news together.
At that point the news stations were beginning to restrict which images they showed, and so I watched along with everyone else.
Only a small handful of images played on the screen, alternating back to a live reporter periodically.
I remember wondering what was going to happen--was this all there was to the bombing, or would more occur?
Was this just the start?
Thankfully it wasn't the start of something bigger--bigger than its already huge impact.
The Deans and Resident Assistants called and texted everyone to make sure everyone was accounted for--some of our students had been out and about that day, though thankfully none were in proximity of the bombing.
The campus went on lock down and we all waited tensely as Boston turned into a ghost town and grounds for a manhunt.
I remember calling my mom and telling her to be ready to change our plans for the weekend, because if they hadn't caught the guy by the time she was supposed to visit me, there was no way in heck I was going to let her come into the city.
I'm rather proud of Boston.
Technically, I'm not a legal resident of Mass. -- I'm just a student who spends most of her year in Boston.
I really haven't even lived in Boston for that long.
But Boston is my home.
Rather than falling apart at the seams, the people of Boston banded and grew together.
Boston has become much stronger through the endurance of this tragic event.
Even today, no matter where in Boston you go, you hear and see Boston Strong.
Today is a day to remember.
Remember those killed; remember those injured.
Remember the lives changed.
Remember to pray for the families left behind.
I wouldn't wish this event on anyone.
But it has made Boston stronger.