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Makeshift Boston memorial draws runners, reflections

5:07 PM, Apr 17, 2013   |    comments
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BOSTON - David Agee couldn't find a memorial for the victims of the terror attack on the Boston Marathon, so he decided to make one.

"I just felt like this is something unprecedented. We've never had an attack like this. I just came down to mull things over and reflect on stuff," Agee, 41, said Tuesday. The marketing director was watching the marathon at his North Attleboro home when the bombs exploded Monday.

As he wandered the security perimeter looking for a memorial site, he saw a familiar face on the street: Eliot Tatelman, owner of Jordan's furniture and a familiar face to Bostonians who have seen his TV commercials for more than 40 years.

Adam Amster, 27, a schoolteacher and first-time marathoner was sporting his race shirt. "I guess I just wanted to reflect on the whole thing," he said.

Amster was one of the thousands of runners who didn't get to cross the finish line Monday, and he said he was already mulling running Boston next year. "I kind of feel like there's unfinished business now," he said. "I kind of think it's the only one I want to run."

Josie Magee, a 10-time Boston finisher including Monday, said she was committed to returning to Boston next year. Magee said there was particular sadness in seeing so many spectators injured because marathon runners rely on the support of their families and local communities to help them keep up their time-consuming training regimens.

"It's such a tragedy for the people that supported us," she said.

Shirley Shaw, 62, from Corvallis, Ore., and a 78-time marathoner did not cross the finish line on Monday, but she also said she intends to be back next year. She wore her race colors downtown to show support for her favorite marathon. "We're still here. We didn't just leave when it happened," she said, "I love this city. I love the support they have for the runners."

"I walked up to him and said, 'Mind if I ask you a question?' " said Agee, who asked Tatelman if he would help him find some flowers to start a makeshift memorial. Tatelman led him to a local flower shop where he knows the owner and together they bought bundles of flowers to begin an unofficial memorial sight on the corner of Boylston and Arlington Streets, on the edge of the security perimeter.

"We hope that more people come down. There really isn't a makeshift memorial yet. It seemed like a good spot," Agee said.

"I watch the marathon every year. My kids run in it. I would have been standing right where the bombs went off. And this year, they didn't run so I wasn't there," Tatelman said. "To see this street like this when you live here, it's just an unbelievable feeling. It makes you appreciate every day."

By lunchtime Tuesday, the intersection had become an informal meeting place for media, spectators, and scores of Monday's marathon runners wearing the race's trademark yellow and blue race shirts.

(Copyright © 2013 USA TODAY)

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