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Procrastination had me in the library on the day of my first Boston Marathon. As a young wide-eyed freshman, I had heard stories about the day- the excitement, the pride, the on going celebrations. Thanks in part to my lack of time management skills, I was writing a final paper for my class with Professor Silver- instead of gleefully making my way to the race.
I first saw the photos of the attack on Twitter, via a Boston news source covering the race by the Finish Line in Copley. I scrolled feverishly through my feed, but couldn’t find anything else speaking on what happened. Five minutes passed, and that all changed. Social media began to fill with photos from the horrific scene. Sitting on the upper level of the library, I had a clear view of all the tables beneath me, filled with students working on term papers and the like. Then, like something out of a movie, a wave of phone vibrations and ring tones swept across the library. From right to left phone’s lit up and students answered, whispering into the forbidden devices. “What are you talking about?” “Mom, I’m in the library.” “No, I didn’t go- what’s going on?” And then my own phone rang. It was my father, panic in his voice. “Tash where are you? Are you okay?- Bombs went off at the finish line.”
Goosebumps encased my body and a cloud of disbelief set in above my head. My first reaction was to locate my younger cousin Kate who was in Boston on a school Field Trip from New Hampshire- a trip designed to enjoy the festivities of the holiday. My aunt, Kate’s mother, called me while I was on the line with my father. The panic in her voice, a mother fearful for her daughter’s safety, was clearer than the sky on that Marathon Monday. Thankfully, Kate was safe in the Faneuil Hall area of the city, blissful in her distraction of tourist gift shops and street performers. The panicked phone calls from loved ones and friends would continue to pour in throughout the day- and when the cell phone towers were disconnected, calls were replaced with emails and Facebook messages.
The Emmanuel College community came together the evening of the attacks in a student-organized candlelight vigil on the Quad. I attended, with a heavy heart, and carefully examined the faces of my peers surrounding me. Fear. Sadness. Confusion. Hurt. Members of our community were viewing the race, and a few were at the Finish Line in Copley. The personal experiences of “I was on my way there” or “I was supposed to be there” were aplenty.
Unfortunately, some of those feelings resurfaced, three years later, when Emmanuel announced that a scene of Mark Wahlberg’s “Patriot’s Day” movie would be filmed on campus. Instead of fear, I felt anger. Anger towards the Administration for approving this project, sadness towards the experience that Boston endured just three years before, confusion as to why this project was approved- knowing specifically that members of our community were impacted, and hurt that the idea of profit superseded the well-being of students on our campus. As problematic as I find the film to be at its core, I find it ethically deplorable that Emmanuel College approved this project, and permitted those painful memories to be brought ONTO our campus, INTO our home.
The senior class is the only remaining group of students that were on campus that dreadful day in 2013 and we very clearly remember. We remember the lack of response from our Institution- frantically waiting for an email or RAVE alert from Emmanuel- no such communication arrived. We remember fearful looks frozen on the faces of our classmates. We remember answering phone calls from distraught parents, and we (joyfully) remember the feeling of relief that came over us later that week when Campus Safety allowed us to leave our residence halls to sit on the quad during the citywide lockdown. We remember the Boston Marathon of 2013. Our friends, families, and families of those lives lost- remember the Boston Marathon of 2013. We remember the strength of our community that day- and the bravery of those men and women that aided assistance efforts near and at the Finish Line.
The Class of 2016 bids adieu to Emmanuel in 16 days. We will walk across the stage under the vast white tent set up in the library parking lot and celebrate our time here together. However, now I will look around the parking lot, covered by tarps and chairs, and remember the prop MIT cars previously parked there- the entertainment tools to theatrically re-create the loss of Officer Sean Collier. Alongside the bravery and strength of this community that I love, I will also remember the disrespectful and discomforting decision made by the Administration in 2016. I hope and pray that Emmanuel does not repeat this poor decision, even after the remaining group of impacted students leave and take the memories of that day with us.
Anastasia Yogas ’16
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