What Do You Remember About Watertown’s Most Historic Event of Recent Times

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An evidence photo of Dave Henneberry’s boat parked on Franklin Street, where Marathon Bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was found.

The Boston Marathon bombings rocked the region 10 years ago this month, and a few days later the situation really got personal for Watertown residents when police tracked down the bombers, battled in the streets of the East End, and then spent the next day searching for the suspect who fled the scene.

Watertown News is collecting people’s memories, photos and videos from that time from people who lived here at the time, people who now live here and remember watching the coverage, and other related memories.

Some have already written in, recalled getting in touch with her mother, who was awakened by gunshots and explosions. A Westside resident remembers how quiet the day of the search was, as she sat on her porch, while her friend in East Watertown had her home searched by police. Another resident had her vacation in Florida disrupted by robocalls from the Watertown Police telling them to shelter in place. And one mother recalled spending the lockdown with her children making a banner thanking the first responders.

What do you remember from that day? Were you close to the action? What did you do while confined to your home? Do you have any snapshots or videos from that day? Were you at the Marathon finish line that day?

If you didn’t live here, what was your image of Watertown from the coverage of the shootout and manhunt? What is it like to now live in the place that was the focus of the world’s media for a short time?

Do you do anything to mark or commemorate that day?

Share comments below (please use your full name), or send an email to watertownmanews@gmail.com. Your memories may be used in the article about the 10th anniversary.

5 thoughts on “What Do You Remember About Watertown’s Most Historic Event of Recent Times

  1. We lived north of Mt. Auburn and Franklin Street. As 1,000 police searched in East Watertown focusing to the east and south, I remember thinking that the younger brother would flee west. Turned out he left his vehicle on Spruce Street. If you rolled a ball from there down Lincoln, you would hit Franklin eventually, so I felt justified. Should have just left our fine Watertown police in charge backed up by Boston.

  2. Living on Arthur Terrace, we awoke to the sound of sirens and explosions; looking out our bedroom window we saw someone lying down on Adams Street. We heard the shots that resulted in the death of one bomber and serious injuries to one policeman, a few blocks away. Like everyone else in the East End, we were locked up in our house all day. At one point, when state police were standing in our alley, we realized that no one had checked the small yards behind our houses. Was our bulkhead closed? We didn’t dare go to the basement. We peeked out our door and asked them to check. They found our yards were clear.
    What amazed us was how far the news traveled. Our close friends in Nairobi, Kenya, who had visited us in the past, recognized the Town Diner on their TV coverage. They called to see if we were okay. My brother, in Connecticut, heard the news that the bomber had been found in the boat before we did. He called to find out if we were close (we weren’t). But we threw a bag of clothes together, dashed to our car, and skipped town, as did other neighbors on the alley. For many months afterwards, a car’s backfire could bring it all back.

  3. I lived on School St just about two blocks from the shootout, I never heard the gunshots, but the robo calls started soon after-They woke us up, and I couldn’t sleep for the remainder of the day. At one point there was about 50 police officers in front of my house with guns drawn, motioning for me to get away from the window…They set up a command post next door to me, but never once came to knock on my door, or check my garage, never searched my house. When the shelter in place order was lifted, I went out to get smokes and drove up Walnut St just as they discovered the boat. I was surrounded in seconds by police, I quickly made a u-turn and went the other way. I lost a day’s pay because I wasn’t allowed to leave. I also worked in the Fenway, and was at work on Marathon Monday and heard the bomb, and it was chaos trying to drive home that day, because I had to go towards Copley Sq to get around the marathon route…I’ll certainly never forget it.

  4. What a terrible day it was for the dear people of Watertown.
    My heart went out to everyone there.
    It was so scary for everyone concerned.
    I prayed so hard they would find the bombers.
    Law enforcement along with the residents of Watertown did.

  5. That weekend I’d gone to visit my boyfriend in Syracuse and had to stay due to the lockdown. My neighbor called in a panic wondering how to pick up her husband from his return flight to Boston. It felt surreal and disconnected not to be able to go home!

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