Western New England University holds Boston Marathon vigil - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Western New England University holds Boston Marathon vigil


As many continue to recover in hospitals and at home from the attack one week later, Western Mass residents continue to light candles and send prayers east.

More than 100 students gathered on campus at Western New England University Monday night to remember those killed and injured a week ago

"I heard about it in my classroom and I never thought that it would hit this close to home," said sophomore student, Brandi Norden.

Like millions of others, Norden was in shock when she saw the first images of the bombings at the Boston Marathon finish line.

But it wasn't until later last Monday when she heard that two of her own family members had been standing right there.

"My sister messaged me and told me that JP and Paul had both lost legs. And I just said, 'I can't even deal with this,'" Norden said.

Norden's two nephews had been spectators at the finish line when the blasts went off.

They were among the more than 180 others that were rushed to area hospitals that day.

"You know you hear the president making his speech about how they're going to catch these people that did this, and I was like, 'I really hope you do, but how are you going to do that?'" she said.

By Friday, though, Norden finally got some relief.

"I'm really glad they did get caught and couldn't terrorize anybody else," she said.

On Monday night, Norden and the student community lit candles, shared prayers and breathed a sigh of relief as they sang a Boston favorite, Sweet Caroline.

"I was driving home the other day and there were these road signs and it was 'we are Boston' all over the roads and all over the MassPike, and it holds true no matter where we are," said freshman student, Mike Onofrio.

Norden says she's thankful for the university's support as her two nephews recover in two different Boston hospitals.

"They're good, they're awake now, conscious ... but the good thing is that they're alive," she said.

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