A year ago today I was planting in my garden While music from my iPhone played in the background. I heard the ding of a news alert and grabbed my phone to see what it was. My mouth hung open and tears ran down my face as I read alert that a bomb had gone off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. My heart began to race and my thoughts were frantic. I ran in the house to let my daughters know what had happened because I didn’t want them channel flipping and stumbling upon the news without me. They were frightened, but seemingly calm. We were all worried about our friends who had gone into town with their mother who was visiting from France. We were scheduled to have dinner and a sleepover that evening. The girls went back to enjoying their moviethon while waiting for their friends to arrive. I went back to gardening and listening to music hoping to hear from our friends sooner than later. Approximately an hour later we heard from one of our friends who told me that they were in the Cambridge Side Galleria when they heard the blasting of the bombs, but didn’t know at the time what they were. They told us that they tried to head home via the green line, but were told that all the trains had been shut down due to the bombing. They became frantic and worried about how and when they would be able to get home. Our plans for the evening were of course canceled as they couldn’t guarantee when they would return and were all shaken up about what happened. I let the girls know. They were disappointed, but completely understood because they too were scared.
So it was sort of sad that everyone was supposed to be enjoying finishing the marathon and the fact that they are on April vacation. Instead, people were helping those that were injured, trying to find a way home, wondering where the bombers were and whether or not anything else was going to happen. As the week progressed anxiety rose in everyone. Worried for the lives lost and the lives that were changed forever. You didn’t have to be there to be affected by what happened.
Fear was all around us, we had to remain as calm as possible and be as strong as we could. We had to move on and deal with what had happened. But first, the bombers had to be caught. On April 19th in the wee hours of the morning Tamerlan Anzorovich Tsarnaev was mortally wounded by what may have been friendly fire. His brother Dzhokhar Anzorovich “Jahar” Tsarnaev was wounded but escaped and a manhunt ensued. Thankfully, later that evening, he was found unarmed and severely wounded hiding underneath a boat in Watertown, MA and was arrested. He is now awaiting his trial.
On April 30, 2013, I posted a story “Do you know who your neighbors are?”. A year later, Nadine Ascencao, who was the former girlfriend of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, has since moved out of her apartment here. It was more like her roommates asked her to leave because they didn’t like the constant attention from the press. She wasn’t there most of the time and her roommates grew tired of visits from news reporters. I’m certainly more than happy not to be dealing with it as well. The Reporters frequented our house even more because they knew that Nadine and I were acquainted and therefore felt I had to know where she was and what she was doing, but of course I didn’t. In fact I didn’t know her well enough in that way. I’m just a friendly outgoing neighbor who makes it a point to make sure that the female neighbors know that they always have a safe place if they need it. As well as someone who is willing to help when and if they need it.
I’m happy to say now that a year has gone by things have calmed down. The tragedy will never be forgotten, but I think we are all trying to get to know our neighbors a little bit more and hope that down the line nothing like this will ever happen again.
The focus is now purely on staying safe and honoring those that lost loved ones and those that were injured during the events of that day. Business suffered too and hopefully, everyone is on the road to recovery and enjoying all the events given in their honor.
Boston remains strong. Hopefully, this years running of the Boston Marathon on April 21, 2014 will be the success that it deserves to be. Visit some of your local news stations to view their tributes and happenings.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — A Moroccan national was detained without bail in Connecticut after FBI agents discovered his plot to fly bombs on drone-like devices made out of radio-controlled airplanes into a school and a federal building, according to federal authorities.
The FBI arrested 27-year-old El Mehdi Semlali Fahti on Monday on immigration-related charges, and he may later face terrorism charges in a federal grand jury investigation, federal prosecutors said. Fahti’s arrest was first reported by the Connecticut Post.
Authorities didn’t disclose the exact locations of the alleged targets, only that Fahti purportedly planned to fly the bombs into an out-of-state school and a federal building in Connecticut, the Post reported.
The FBI said Fahti was secretly recorded by an undercover agent saying he studied the bomb attack operation for months. Authorities say they found wires and tools in his Bridgeport apartment but didn’t say if any explosives were found.
Fahti told the undercover agent that he could obtain items needed for the bomb plot in Southern California near the Mexico border and that funding would come from secret accounts filled with laundered money and drug-dealing profits, the FBI said.
Fahti appeared Monday in federal court in Bridgeport, where Magistrate Judge William Garfinkel granted prosecutors’ request to detain Fahti without bail.
His federal public defender, Paul Thomas, didn’t immediately return phone and email messages from The Associated Press on Tuesday.
Authorities charged Fahti with immigration-related crimes including making a false statement, falsely swearing under oath and falsifying declarations to a federal immigration judge. Officials said Fahti stayed in the U.S. for seven years after his student visa expired after flunking out of Virginia International University.
Fahti was facing deportation to Morocco and made the false statements while seeking political asylum in the U.S., authorities said.
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