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Boston Marathon Bombing: A Witness' Story

April 16, 2013

NASHUA, N.H. - When the explosions went off that killed at least two and injured scores more along the route of the Boston Marathon Monday, Curt Gilmore was at a tent beyond the finish line helping give food and drink to exhausted runners.

"So I was at that tent out on Boylston Street, with a straight view of the finish line, when I heard the explosion," he recounted. "I had my back to it. I immediately ducked as if something was going to be hitting me, because the compression in my chest was so great."

He remembered an overloaded electric power transformer had exploded in the Back Bay at last year's marathon, but soon realized that this was something far worse. Gilmore said wild rumors flew the rest of the afternoon, and some media reports were inaccurate as well. He noted that one thing he noticed earlier in the day was the large numbers of police dogs, out in strength, which led him to believe security was tight.

"It just seemed like overkill," he related. "They were sniffing everything and everywhere, places that made no sense - the gutter, where there was absolutely nothing - and I thought, 'Well, this is certainly very thorough.'"

Gilmore said he spent a lot of time calming down friends and family.

"My son called, said 'Dad, I understand in Harvard Square, bombs are going off.' I said 'Calm down. Do not react to the things that you're hearing' because, unfortunately, reports get thrown out in the immediate aftermath that are just erroneous."

While he feels terrible for those directly harmed by the bombs, Gilmore said it was sad for the runners in a race that will now be remembered only because people died on a day - Patriots Day - which is usually one of Boston's best days of the year.

Mark Scheerer, Public News Service - NH