Boston Marathon: Spirits High Amid Added SecurityBy: Toni Matthews-El - April 21, 2014
Individuals from around the world arrived in Boston, Mass. in recent days to both pay their respects to the victims of last year’s tragic Boston Marathon Bombings and to take part in this year’s event.
The fact that nearly ten thousand more people signed up for this year’s race is indicative of the spirit of the Boston Marathon.
While the increase in the number of participants and spectators suggests a strong will to move beyond the horrors of last year, some worry that the larger crowd will make it difficult on law enforcement officials.
Authorities have added new security measures to the Boston Marathon meant to avoid any copycat bombings.
The success of these adjustments has yet to be determined, leaving some nervous about whether steps taken by officials will be enough to prevent any major incidents.
Officials are confident that their security measures will significantly cut down on the danger.
For instance, there are 100 cameras installed along the Boston city portion of the marathon. Officials also state that they have banned backpacks of any kind from the course. There will be eyes and ears near the final stretch, all cautiously observing any suspicious activities or behaviors.
The Boston Athletic Association, which is the body responsible for organizing the marathon, has requested that everyone leave their handbags and backpacks at home in order to make things easier.
Unregistered participants are not allowed to “jump into” the race this year, even if it is a well meaning gesture of support for the event and its participants.
Said the BAA, “We are aware that many people want to participate in some way in this year’s Boston Marathon as a display of support, but we ask that those who are not official participants to refrain from entering the course for the safety of the runners and themselves.”
It didn’t help the nerves of locals and participants when a man was arrested on the night of the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombings in what authorities have declared a hoax.
Some worry that tasteless individuals will attempt to damper the spirits of supporters with feigned terrorist threats before or during the Boston Marathon.
Not only would these actions be thoughtless and cruel, they could distract from genuine threats.
All that can be hoped is that the added measures will keep participants and supporters of this year’s race safe from any kind of disturbance.
Image via Wikimedia Commons