The Boston Marathon Bombing


Emma Childs, Journalist

Nine years ago on April 15th, 2013, two bombs detonated during the Boston Marathon. As a commemoration of this tragedy, we will look at the event, its effects, and significance in our nation’s history.

What is the Boston Marathon? 

The Boston Marathon is a 26.6-mile footrace held in Hopkins, Massachusetts. This event is held on Patriots day to commemorate the 1775 battles of Lexington and Concord that kicked off the Revolutionary war. Patriots day is a legal holiday in Massachusetts and is celebrated on the 3rd Monday in April. 


The Marathon Begins 

The 2013 marathon began in the town of Hopkins with around 23,000 participants. This was the 117 Boston Marathon making it the world’s oldest annual marathon. At 9:32 AM the elite women runners started off. The first wave of thousands of runners and the top male runners started at 10:00 AM. Several other waves took off at 10:20 AM and 10:40 AM. 


The Explosions

The first bomb, less than half a block from the finish line, exploded about 5 hours into the race. Approximately 12 seconds later the second bomb, 600 ft from the first, exploded. The bombs were pressure-cooker bombs packed with shrapnel and hidden in backpacks in the crowd of marathon watchers. 


The beautiful afternoon had turned to destruction and chaos. More than 260 people were wounded and sixteen people lost legs; the youngest being a 7-year-old girl. Three watchers died. A 23- year-old woman, a 29-year-old woman, and an 8-year-old boy. 


The Bombing Suspects 

The main suspects were two Muslim brothers Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. The brothers were born in the former Soviet Union republic of Kyrgyzstan. Dzhokhar came to the United States in 2092 with his parents. Tamerlan and his sisters came to America the following year. 


Through some investigation, it was suggested that their extremist Islamic beliefs may have motivated them to plan and carry out the bombing on their own. Meaning they weren’t connected to a terrorist group. 


The Trial 

Dzhokhar pleaded not guilty to the 30 federal charges against him in July 2013. On April 8, 2015, almost two years later, Dzhokhar was found guilty of all 30 charges. He is being held at a high-security U.S. Penitentiary, in Florence-High in Colorado with the possibility of a death sentence. 

The Boston Marathon bombing was a tragedy which effects can be felt to this day. The survivors of this event serve as a reminder of human resilience despite evil acts.