FAIRFIELD, Conn. – In the wake of the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing, people in Fairfield remember it with sadness.
For most people, the hoax backpack bomb left near the finish line Tuesday during the remembrance ceremony at Old South Church was in poor taste.
“It’s like a sick joke,” said Fairfield resident Marlene Ferguson.
Runner and longtime Fairfield resident Polly Tilghmen said for that to happen on the anniversary shook Boston. “It’s just too raw.”
Neil Turner of Bridgeport said that the man could do that “calls into question about the security.”
However, most people simply remembered those who had lost their lives and those who were still struggling to recover.
Fairfield librarian and Westport resident Leslie Mahtani said she has a friend whose daughter was injured during the bombing last year.
“She’s still not fully better yet,” Mahtani said. “I know [Tuesday] was a very difficult time for the family.”
Tuesday was difficult for her as well, she said, as the national media rehashed stories of victims for most of the day and as she remembered what happened to her friend’s daughter.
Tilghman’s daughter lives in Boston and was at the finish line a half-hour before the bombs went off last year.
As a mother, she said, “It was a traumatizing experience,” and she went up to the city during the lockdown to take her daughter food.
Ferguson said she remembers hearing about the bombings from a friend whose daughter was also in the area but not injured. “It was almost surreal,” she said. “It was horrible.”
Many of those who are running in this year’s marathon will be coming back to complete the race they didn’t finish last year. Some will even be the victims of the bombings.
“I think it’s great,” Ferguson said of those runners. “Life moves on.”
This year is more than just a Boston event, Tilghman said. “I think it affects a lot of other people,” not just runners and Boston residents. She wanted to go up to Boston for this year’s race to cheer on the runners but couldn’t make it work with her schedule.
“The spirit is going to be so incredible,” she said. “I think everyone is being Boston Strong.”