Hi! My name is Siobhan Shea, and I’m a high school student who is volunteering with the Our Marathon Digital Archive this summer. My posts for archive’s blog will primarily highlight and discuss The WBUR Oral History Project, a collection of oral histories.
I found Christie Coombs’ interview particularly moving. She tells the story of losing her husband on September 11, 2001. She talks about having to grapple with the loss of her husband while finding a way to explain the loss to her three school aged children. She states, “We went in the house and we were sitting on the couch and I was trying to explain to them what happened in simple terms that little kids could understand.”
12 years later, Christie was at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon cheering on her daughter’s friend, who was running for Christie’s charitable foundation commemorating her husband, Jeff. Then the bombs went off. She describes the impact on her and her daughter:
“All of the sudden I hear and see this massive explosion, and my first thought was ‘Oh my god that was a bomb.’ And then I thought to myself, ‘Well that’s not a bomb you idiot, you’re in Boston: things like that don’t happen here.’ And this all happened in split seconds. Then my next thought was of course they happen here, that happened to you…”
Listen to audio clips here or the full interview here to hear Christie’s story. http://marathon.neu.edu/wburoralhistoryproject/christie_coombs