National News

 

Gov. Patrick: Boston 'very prepared' for marathon

Gov. Patrick: Boston 'very prepared' for marathon

Nearly a year after the attack on the Boston Marathon, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick says that while he is worried about a copycat, the city is fully prepared for Tuesday's memorial and next week's marathon.

 

"I think we've made every possible provision," Patrick told George Stephanopoulos on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday. "The planning has been very, very thorough. The teams are well-coordinated. In fact, George, we had a sort of tabletop exercise, a practice session, a full day, a couple of weeks ago. There were 450 people in the room from every state, federal and local agency — and municipal leadership as well — for each of the cities and towns along the [marathon] route."

Still, Patrick said, "You worry about the fact that an awful lot of attention is going to be focused on this year's marathon, really, on account of last year.

"But as I say, I think we are very well-prepared, and people should come out and enjoy themselves."

Three people were killed and more than 260 others wounded in twin bombings at the 2013 marathon, an attack that shook the city to its core.

"It was horrific," John Tlumacki, a Boston Globe photographer positioned at the finish line, said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "People were smoldering. You know, it was just a heap of people who were severely injured."

Yet the city's resilience shown in the aftermath of the attack began the instant the first bomb went off on Boylston Street.

"The thing that amazed me about it, when the smoke cleared, is that everybody was being helped," Tlumacki said, "whether it was the EMS, Boston police or firefighters....  And I just couldn't believe that response was that instantaneous."

"In 18 minutes, that scene was cleared," Ed Davis, the former Boston police commissioner, said. "All the victims were removed from the scene. And no one that was transported died."

Davis said the speed of the response was a result of planning for a terror attack.

"They could not have picked a worse city to do this in for their goals," Davis said. "We had prepared for it. We had planned. And we were able to improvise in that plan, as well."

Part of that improvisation came during the frenzied manhunt, when Patrick effectively shut the city down.

"We briefed the governor and the mayor, gave them our best opinion, told them exactly what was happening at the time," Davis said. "And a lot of things that were happening have not played out publicly. But there was a real possibility that a cell had gone active, that it was a much wider conspiracy. That's what we believed at that time. And so the governor's focus was on saving lives. And I think he made the right decision."

For Tlumacki and the rest of Boston, the 2014 marathon is about reclaiming the event from the terrorists, despite the overarching sense of vulnerability.

"I'm sure everybody that goes this year will have a different feeling about being there, looking around themselves," Doris Kearns Goodwin, a presidential historian and longtime Bostonian, said on "Meet the Press." "They can't carry bags like they did before. There's going to be double the police. All of which is a symbol of what happened last year."

"I think it's going to be the reminder of what happened in that terrible marathon," Tlumacki said. "Hopefully, this year I'll be able to replace that image with something more joyful. Survivors crossing the finish line with their family. I'm going to be there. I'm going to be standing on the finish line doing my job. And I want to replace that image. I don't want people to keep coming back and thinking that's the way it was. I want people to come and go online, look at the Boston Globe, and say, 'What a beautiful picture.'"

Read more from Yahoo! News

 

More Articles

 

WILM-AM is an iHeartRadio Station

© 2014 iHeartMedia, Inc.

*