An Anniversary For Remembering

1st_Boston_Marathon_blast_seen_from_2nd_floor_and_a_half_block_awaySome anniversaries are for celebrating – like wedding anniversaries. Some are for commemorating – for recalling (remembering) and to serve as a memorial (to remind people of an event or person). This week we commemorate an anniversary.

One year ago two bombs hidden in backpacks spread death and mayhem (an attempt to seriously and permanently injure someone) among people near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Three were killed. 264 were injured. And 14 required amputations (removal of an arm or leg).

Jeff Bauman was at the marathon to cheer for (to give encouragement to) his girlfriend Erin, who was running in her first marathon. He was there, standing next to one of the backpacks, when it exploded and destroyed both of his legs below the knees.

Jeff has become an icon (something or someone that represents something) of what happened in Boston. The photo of two emergency workers and a bystander (someone who is watching what is happening) in a cowboy hat pushing Jeff – with no lower legs – to the medical tent in a wheelchair was one of the first photos many of us saw.

The story of Jeff’s battle to recover from his injuries and regain (get back) his strength have kept him in the public eye (seen on TV, in the newspapers, etc., a lot). We followed as he endured (to be in a difficult or painful situation for a long time) the amputation of both legs above the knees. We watched and cheered when he took his first steps using artificial legs made especially for him.

Jeff and Erin are now engaged to be married, and they’re expecting their first child. They recently bought a house and spend a lot of their time preparing it for the arrival of their baby. He says that he knew he loved Erin when she laughed after he jokingly told her not to worry because “our kids will have legs.”

In a recent interview, Jeff said that he sleeps a lot, which doctors say is good because it helps his body heal (recover from the injuries). He still has trouble walking on his artificial legs, so when no one is around (nearby), he wears what he calls “stubbies.” They are small platforms (thick pieces of wood) that attach to the bottom of his thighs (upper leg) and make it possible to walk and stand for several hours.

Jeff says that “the things normal people take for granted (don’t think about) – going to the bathroom on their own, getting out of bed without falling down, making a latte for friends – once seemed insurmountable (too large or difficult to do).” There were times that he wanted to give up (stop trying) because he thought he would never be able to take care of himself, no matter how hard he tried.

But he didn’t give up. He continued to try. And he’s slowly improving (getting better). He says that “doing household chores (small regular tasks), being helpful, living a normal life … is what matters. It is what I worked so hard for. And right now, it’s all I really want.”

Jeff has written a book – called Stronger – about his experiences this last year. It will be released this month.

~ Warren Ediger – ESL coach/tutor and creator of the Successful English web site.

Photo of Boston Marathon bombing courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

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17 Responses to An Anniversary For Remembering

  1. emiliano says:

    Yes, dear Warren I know what you mean telling us this story and it is true that Spaniards are friendly
    close to these people who suffered this terrorist attacks as we have suffered the same acts along
    years and years.

    There is a woman in Spain, as many others, that being a girl suffered a terrorist criminal act when she
    was inside a car together with her mother who was driving. It was the car of the family and terrorists
    wanted to kill the father who was a policeman an put a bomb attached below the car. It exploded being
    the mother and the girl but not the father. She lost their legs, just the same like Jeff, being only 12 years.

    More or less this is her story, Irene Villa (born 21 November 1978) is a Spanish author and journalist who
    became a political figure after losing both legs in an ETA terrorist attack in Madrid at the age of 12. (year 1990)
    She was particularly vocal in her opposition to José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero’s policy of offering peace talks
    to the ETA terrorist group if they disarmed.
    She has since become a para-alpine skier. Lately she has married and had a nice baby that was born two
    years ago.

    As this story there are many here in Spain and other lands of the world, I am sure, people that fight against
    the adversity of being several injured without not mean by terrorist who has not any kind of piety.

    Thank you so much Warren, this is necessary to be known.

    All my solidarity to the victims of this and all terrorist attempts all over the world.


  2. Parviz says:

    My solidarity with people in The USA.
    We condemn any kind of terrorist attack, whatsoever.


  3. Dan says:

    Thanks Warren,

    What can we say!? Those acts are beyond my comprehension.
    I do not even try to get into the minds of those people.

    I just want to wish Jeff and Erin well and to enjoy their coming baby.

    have a nice weekend.

  4. Aécio Flávio Perim says:

    I’m sorry about that bad situation. I’d like it had not happened. Unfortunately, I can’t control the world. Here in Brazil we are free of these occurrences until now. I don’t know, but the proximity of world cup maybe some trouble can come up. I beg God not to.
    Aecio from this beautiful country.

  5. Genji says:

    I’d like to say thank you to Warren.
    You’re really a good spoksman for peace world, I think.
    Please be a good reminder of the anniversary for us to remember it.
    By the way, Jeff..? Jeff..? I remember the name, sounds good!

  6. WangLuu says:

    Need helping!

    Hi all, recently I received an Iphone from my boss as a gift. I tried to use it in order to listen to Jeff’s podcast

    But I couldn’t make it work. I’m quite out of date whenever it comes to technical equipments, I have to admit.

    Would you mind give me a hand in this case? I know that some of you are using your smartphone, portable gadgets

    to be able to keep up with brand new podcasts from Jeff, so I’m looking forward to your helps! Thank you guys

    Best regard!

    Notice: I’m still using my cheap phone for business and the new one just for surfing on ESL and some other pages for learning 🙂

  7. emiliano says:

    WangLuu, I am not an expert but I think it culd be easy, just download iTunes in you computer, open the program and go to
    iTune Store, look for podcast in the Store, Education, Languages, and you´ll see the ESL podcast very soon. Open it and
    suscribe the podcast to be downloaded in the computer. Once you have them in the iTunes program the only easy thing you
    have to do it is connecting your iPhone to the computer and all the ESL podcast with be inside the iPhone as mp3 files.
    You can also have another music you like using the iTunes program always, the same like photos or videos adapted to the
    iPod files.
    That all my dear friend, I have been doigh that for years in the iPod and it is the same like the iPhone. Good luck and welcome, this
    is your site.


  8. Tania says:

    Hi! We have the Easter holiday on April 20th this year, too.

    HAPPY EASTER to all those who celebrate this religious day.

    Best wishes,


  9. Tania says:


    I miss you all,


  10. Dan says:

    Hey Wangluu

    I will tell you what to do in a few simple steps.

    Take the Iphone and throw it away, after that, go and get a phone running Android.


  11. emiliano says:

    Gengy and WangLu, you are welcome here and don´t take seriously Dan advise.
    He is a good boy after all, but I don´t know what is his problem with the iPhone

    Tell us Dan ??????????????????

    See you later my dear and be so kind to inform us about your iPhone´s aversion.

    By the way I have an Adroid, the “HTC one” to be concrete, it is really nice after all.


  12. emiliano says:

    Sorry, Genji…..

    Do you know Genji who is “Genji Monogatari”
    I could tell you he is the protagonist in the Murasaki Sikibu´s
    novel, may be the first written novel in all the world and it
    was written by a Japanese woman about the X century when
    Kyoto was the capital of Japan in the HEIAN period, the
    real name of Kyoto was “Heian-kyo” that means “capital of peace and
    well-being”, so I think it is a honor to wear that name.

    Sure you may ask …why emiliano knows this story? it is easy, Cuca my wife
    bought the novel several years ago, read it and I borrowed it from her as she
    told me it was interesting.
    The first book written as a novel told the story of the prince Genji Monogatari
    and his travels and loves through the old Japan.

    Bye. emilliano

  13. Betty says:

    Thank you very much indeed Dear Warren. I have enjoyed reading your article about remembering the Boston Marathon Bombing which happened last year.

    You have reminded us the importance of learning to live a normal life again after disaster even when it seems impossible.

    It is true that terrorist acts will never wipe out humanity, they just make us stronger.

    My hearts goes out to those people being affected by the Boston Marathon Bombing.

    May God give us people on earth strength to heal from pains like these.


  14. Rina says:

    Yes, I feel sorry for this poor man. But I can’t understand why he tries to become famous because of this story. Why did he write the book? Of course, it’s sad but he is not the only man in the world towards whom bad or unfair things happend.

  15. Dan says:

    Hey Rina

    He is not trying to be famous. He is just telling his story/experience.

    Keep in mind that medical care in the US is very expensive and he needs a lot of that for many years to come.

    What he gets from the book -hopefully- will be of help for him and his family.

    I wish him to get back very soon to a normal life and to his job if he had one.


    Hi Betty, it is nice reading from you, hope you and your family are doing well.


  16. Dan says:

    Hey Betty,

    Today I have learned a new Idiom that goes like this:

    Betty is the apple of my eye! or Princess is the apple of my eye.

    Princess is my female cat

    I like it, it sounds cute. Did you know it?


  17. Dan says:

    Hi Emiliano

    Is everything ok? I am doing well.

    Think that I have become a vegetarian and atheist. That is the result of living in solitude and thinking with my own mind.

    I have absolutely nothing against Apple. They put on the market really good quality products. Just little bit expensive.

    I tend to buy Android based phone because you basically do the same stuff at a lower cost.

    Bye Emiliano!

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