They Came Running: Heroes of the Boston Marathon Bombing

Immediately after the Boston Marathon bombings, these everyday heroes joined together to help at the finish line and beyond.

By Beth Dreher and Caitlin O'Connell from Reader's Digest Magazine | July 2013

AA TransportationThe Road Less Traveled
Eight AA Transportation Company school bus drivers, who had parked at the finish line to shuttle exhausted runners to medical tents, found themselves in the thick of the confusion when the bombs exploded.

Rather than evacuate, the bus drivers returned to the scene again and again to transport runners and bystanders to safety, picking up anyone who needed a lift, allowing shaken participants to borrow their cell phones to reach loved ones, and even offering hugs.

Donations for the Desperate
In the aftermath of the horrific incident, runners donated their most precious commodity—blood. NBC Sports tweeted: “Reports of marathon runners that crossed finish line and continued to run to Mass General Hospital to give blood to victims.” Only a few hours later, the American Red Cross responded via Twitter: “Thanks to the generosity of volunteer blood donors, there is currently enough blood on the shelves to meet demand.”

Comfort Food for All
Sometimes gratitude is best expressed with a hot slice. Sympathizers took to the social media site Reddit to order pizza for emergency workers and anyone else who had helped during the disaster. Anytime Pizza in Cambridge filled most of the 1,500 orders and offered free slices to first responders who needed a meal.

  • Your Comments

    • Bruce Mendelsohn

      Thank you to Beth Dreher and Caitlin O’Connell for once again reminding us of ALL the heroes who responded in many life-saving and helpful ways in the immediate aftermath of the Boston marathon bombings.
      One correction to the profile you ran on me: I am not a Gulf War veteran. I served DURING the Gulf War in Korea and Germany but I was not IN the Gulf War.