WATERTOWN — Jeff Bauman and David Henneberry both had roles in helping capture the Marathon bombing suspects last year. On Saturday, the two stood side by side at the Watertown Police Finish Strong 5K, as residents marked the anniversary of the shootout and lockdown with a run.
Bauman, who lost both legs when the first bomb exploded on Boylston Street, described the older Tsarnaev brother to police when he woke up in the hospital. Henneberry, after spending a day in lockdown as police searched his Watertown neighborhood, found the wounded younger Tsarnaev in his boat.
“I just feel humble. It’s overwhelming,” Henneberry said. “My first public appearance — it took a year.”
Before the bombing, Bauman said he would often drive past the Watertown police station on his way from his home in Chelmsford to his now-fiancee’s home in Brighton.
“I would drive through Watertown, where they caught those kids — drive by, right there, all the time,” Bauman said Saturday, standing on prosthetic legs and leaning slightly on crutches. “It shows how tight and small this community really is. So many people came out today, this is crazy.”
Watertown police Detective Lieutenant Michael P. Lawn, who organized the race, said he did not know how many runners and walkers to expect when he first conceived of the idea — maybe 200 or 300. He ended up with about 1,850 participants.
“Last year we asked everybody to shelter in place, and this year it’s the opposite: We are asking everyone to come outside and enjoy Watertown,” Lawn said.
The looped racecourse, which started and finished at Tufts Health Plan on Mount Auburn Street, passed though the intersection of Dexter Avenue and Laurel Street, near the scene of the shootout between Watertown police and the two Marathon bombing suspects, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
A year ago, when residents locked their doors as police in tactical gear searched for the remaining suspect in the Marathon bombings, Bauman was lying in a hospital bed, just a few days after he lost his legs.
Months later, while writing his memoir, “Stronger,” Bauman and his co-author, Bret Witter, asked the Watertown police to take him to the scene of the shootout. Their tour included a knock on Henneberry’s door, Watertown police Chief Edward P. Deveau said.
“It was really a nice moment when the two of them kind of just walking down the street and spent five or 10 minutes talking with each other,” Deveau said Saturday. “And then Jeff told me later, ‘I really enjoyed that, thanks for introducing me to Dave.’ And Dave said the same thing, that it was an honor to meet Jeff.”
At Watertown High School Saturday, the Red Cross and Mount Auburn Hospital held a blood drive in honor of Richard Donohue , the Transit Police officer gravely wounded in the shootout.
Donohue lost so much blood when his femoral artery was severed that he needed 46 blood products — which the Red Cross defines as whole blood, platelets, plasma, and other components.
“Blood donation played such a huge role in my survival. It’s something I want to thank people for, and promote in any way possible,” Donohue said.
Donors gave 152 units of blood Saturday, said Donna M. Morrissey, a Red Cross spokeswoman.
Among them was Transit Police Chief Paul MacMillan, who has given blood three times since the shootout.
“I plan to be a regular donor,” MacMillan said, urging others who are eligible to do the same. “Even just within the [police] community, because of how seriously Officer Donohue was injured, the number of units he needed — I think he raised awareness of how important it is to give blood.”Gal Tziperman Lotan can be reached at email@example.com.