Friday, April 18, 2014

The Boston Globe's failed "historic" Marathon finish line photo shooting

It was meant to be a big fiesta to celebrate "Boston Strong". One year after the Marathon bombings, the Boston Globe invited  “survivors, police, firefighters, EMTs, doctors, nurses, runners, political figures, store owners, the Boston Athletic Association, Red Sox and Bruins player” to be part of a "historic" photo shoot. The event took place in the morning of Sunday, April 6th, 2014.

The Globe writes: "Thousands of photographs had been snapped and there was no reason to stick around on the start of a glorious spring day. Yet there in the middle of Boylston Street, in the exact spot where there had been so much sadness and anguish almost a year ago to the day, now there were smiles, hugs and selfies. Nobody had to be there. They wanted to be there. Maybe even needed to be there."

This is, unfortunately, a flattering picture. One particular and prominent group is in large part missing on the photo: the hardest-hit survivors whose life has dramatically changed by the bombs. The Globe certainly invited them as the first. But alas, they didn't come.

Among the victims of the second bomb site the Richard Family, who has kept a low profile in the past, is a notable exception (David Yepez is another, less famous one). Here's a list of the prominent survivors who didn't want to come:

Heather Abbott

Roseann Sdoia

Adrianne Haslet-Davis

Jacqui Webb

Paul and J.P. Norden

Marc Fucarile

Aaron Hern with father Alan Hern

Also missing are the "heroes" of the second bomb site:

Matt Patterson

Tracy Monroe

Mike Chase and Dan Marshall

With so many Marathon Bombing "celebrities" missing - and the situation doesn't look better for the first bomb site -, one may contest the historic value of the picture. The fact that the photo shoot was attended by high-ranking officials like Carmen Ortiz, Thomas Menino, Ed Davis, and Martin Walsh doesn't change this diagnosis.

So why did the survivors, who were not that shy to speak with the media in the aftermath of the bombings, not come? This looks like a coordinated action, it almost resembles a boycott.

For the regular reader of this blog, one probable reason is obvious: it's the unsettled question where exactly the second bomb exploded - and the equivalent question whether Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was the bomber. Another reason might be the attendance of the Richard Family, who according to available photo and video evidence was not at the second bomb site. The official story has it that Matt Patterson, Mike Chase, and Tracy Monroe saved little Jane Richard's life. It would have been a wonderful opportunity to meet again, with many heart-melting pictures. But the lifesavers chose not to come.