Friday, April 19, 2013
As America watched the horror from the Boston Marathon unfold on their TV screens Monday, Raymond and Wink Arsenault of Georgetown received a telephone call.
On the other end of the line was Mr. Arsenault’s sister who lives near Boston informing them one of the three people fatally wounded by one of the bomb blasts was their 8-year-old cousin Martin Richard.
It was a multiple tragedy for the family who had been standing near the Boston Marathon finish line because the child’s mother, Denise, and his sister were severely injured.
Both were still hospitalized Thursday.
“He was very active in sports,” Mrs. Arsenault said of her young cousin Thursday. He was a very loved 8-year-old. His community and school loved him.”
She said the child “looks just like the Arsenault family. My heart just goes to my stomach when I think about what happened.”
She said it has been years since she has seen Martin but the family does keep in touch.
She said her husband and Martin’s grandmother, Ann Marie Richard, are very close. She is the one keeping Martin’s brother who was not injured.
Six-year-old Jane Richard lost a leg in the blast.
“She had just started taking dance lessons,” Mrs. Arsenault said.
The Arsenaults have lived in Georgetown for 15 years and are members of First Baptist Church. They do travel back to Massachusetts as often as possible.
Mrs. Arsenault was nearly at a loss for words when she was asked how she feels about the fact her family members were killed and injured at the hands of a terrorist.
“Our world is unbelievable. I believe we are in the end times. I believe our Lord is coming back soon,” she said.
She also said whoever is responsible for the bombings needs to be “punished very very severely.”
The President speaks
President Barack Obama sought to inspire a stricken city and comfort an unnerved nation Thursday, declaring that Boston ‘‘will run again’’ and vowing to hunt down the perpetrator of the twin blasts that brought mayhem and death to the Boston Marathon.
‘‘If they sought to intimidate us, to terrorize us ... It should be pretty clear right now that they picked the wrong city to do it,’’ Obama said.
The President spoke at an interfaith service in Boston honoring the three people killed and more than 170 injured when a pair of bombs ripped through the crowd gathered Monday afternoon near the finish line of the famous race.
‘‘We may be momentarily knocked off our feet,’’ Obama said. ‘‘But we'll pick ourselves up. We'll keep going. We will finish the race.’’
‘‘This time next year, on the third Monday in April, the world will return to this great American city to run harder than ever and cheer even louder for the 118th Boston Marathon,’’ he declared.
Obama listened from his pew as Boston Mayor Thomas Menino praised the response of his city.
‘‘Nothing will take us down because we take care of one another,’’ Menino said.
‘‘Even with the smell of smoke in the air and blood in the streets and tears in our eyes, we triumphed over that hateful act.’’
For the latest developments on this changing story, visit the Post and Courier website at www.postandcourier.com
By Scott Harper
The Associated Press contributed to this story.