Greg Meyer was standing in the lobby of the Fairmont Copley Plaza, his eyes misting over.
“I don’t understand it,” he said Monday afternoon, as the ambulances were pulling away from the medical tent and hundreds of confused and fretful runners and spectators wandered the streets around the square as sirens wailed. “I don’t understand it.”
Thirty years ago, Meyer had come running down Boylston Street in triumph on Patriots Day, the last American man to win the Boston Marathon. Monday he returned with his sons to relive the day that changed his life forever. Just a few minutes after they’d crossed the finish line and collected their medals, they heard two explosions behind them and the lives of many thousands of people changed as well.
“This is an event that brings people together,” said Meyer. “I don’t get this.”
For 116 years, the world’s most fabled footrace had been a place of concelebration, where hundreds of thousands of runners were cheered by millions. Their macadam mecca was the final stretch along Boylston, where the overhead clock confirmed their personal victories and hugs and handshakes from friends and family waited beyond.
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