Watertown, a year after the Boston Marathon bombing

On the morning of Marathon Monday I woke up early, skipped the revelry and took the 57 bus to Watertown.

The Lowell Sun assigned me a story looking at the “mood” of the small city about a year after the Tsarnaev brothers led police officers on a manhunt and shootout through its narrow streets. The brothers had allegedly set off two bombs near the Marathon finish line a few days prior that killed three and wounded some 260 others.

This terrible incident brought Boston, the city I have called home for four years, together to mourn, to heal and to stay strong. But at the time I was 3,269 miles away in London watching it unfold on BBC, powerless and unable to grieve with my friends back home.

The following story was my way of finally healing. It was a way to talk with the people who were directly affected in the aftermath of the bombings. They have learned to move on and I have too.

After writing this story I headed with friends to the Marathon finish line to cheer on the charity runners that start filing through in the late afternoon. These are the people who have no chance of winning, but still decided to push their bodies to the limit to raise money for others. We should all hope to emulate them someday.

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VIDEO: PTSD and the Boston Bombing

For the final project in my Visual Journalism class, two other students and I conducted interviews and research into Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings.

The research was spurned by a Boston University Medical School survey, released last month, about the Boston Marathon bombings’ effect on veterans with existing PTSD. Of the veterans surveyed, 38 percent said they experienced emotional suffering as a result of the bombings.

The Boston Marathon bombing deeply affected the city of Boston and especially touched the BU population. Even after the six-month anniversary of the bombings, many Bostonians still feel the aftermath. Relating to the BUMS survey, PTSD is still a common yet invisible way the marathon bombings affect people in Boston. Amidst the Boston Strong cheers, many Bostonians can be brought back to Marathon Monday through loud sounds or disturbing dreams.

This story speaks to the way Bostonians—especially students—still cope with the Boston Marathon bombings. PTSD is often ignored, but the video explores the ways veterans and students still handle the effects of the tragedy.

 Here’s the finished product, edited by me, with interviews by Kat Noel and Sarah Fisher: