Boston Marathon

Yesterdays bombings at the Boston Marathon were just horrific. My heart goes out to all those personally affected by this tragedy. All innocent people. I believe this event is going to be pivotal…it will change the way we live, think and feel, just like September 11 changed us all.

I hope those responsible are found asap.

Here is a story that touched me.

BOSTON – John Mixon of Ogunquit was standing on the bleachers at the Boston Marathon finish line, looking for one of the Mainers running on behalf of a fallen soldier, when an explosion ripped open the storefront across the street.

“It knocked me right out of the bleachers,” Mixon said, his voice still quivering two and a half hours later. “It was definitely a bomb. You could smell the explosives.”

Mixon and Carlos Arredondo, the father of one of those fallen soldiers, charged across the street to help the spectators who had lined up behind a snow fence four and five deep to watch the finish.

What they encountered was worse than anything Mixon, a Vietnam veteran, had seen overseas.

“When we got over there, it was just a pile of bodies – people with legs missing,” Mixon said Monday evening. “It was absolutely like a war scene. This was worse, because it was all innocent people, just defenseless. They were just lying in a pile, gunpowder all over them, burnt.”

Scores of Mainers, maybe more, were within a couple of blocks of the explosions that shattered the celebration of endurance and achievement. Some were among the more than 200 Maine runners scheduled to participate in the Patriots Day tradition. Others were volunteers or spectators.

There were five runners for Race for the Fallen Maine, five marathoners running on behalf of Maine soldiers who had died overseas, including Alexander Arredondo of Bangor.

One was nearing the finish line, and that had brought Mixon to the front of the bleachers. Arredondo was handing one of his handful of small flags to a National Guardsman who had just completed the race.

The blast was followed by moments of confused silence, then screams.

APTOPIX Boston Marathon Explosion

The two friends crossed the street and Mixon started ripping away the snow fence and scaffolding to get at the victims. Arredondo vaulted it and tried using his clothes and towels to stanch the victims’ bleeding but they were hurt too badly.

Both men helped get one of the spectators, missing both legs, into a wheelchair that race medical staff had brought.

“I kept talking to him. I kept saying, ‘Stay with me, stay with me,’ ” Arredondo said.
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