Before last year’s marathon began, Tom Menino was so physically weak he needed a cane to walk.
But when the bombs went off on Boylston Street, no one in Boston was stronger.
“I was in the hospital at the time. It was 2:50 in the afternoon. My security ran into my room and said to me, ‘mayor, a bomb just went off at the finish line.’ And I said ‘get the police commissioner on the line so I can find out what’s really going on,’” Menino said. “Then I said, ‘I have to get out of here.’ so I got dressed, the nurses helped me, and I went to the first conference at 5 o’clock that night.”
Menino said he was in some pain that week, but he knew the city needed him.
“There’s a lot of people who had a lot more physical pain than I did. You know, I wasn’t worried about myself,” he said. “You know, people were very nervous about it. Nobody ever expected this to happen in Boston.”
He said he knew that people were counting on him and his voice mattered.
“My mind was thinking about how can I make sure the people know that we’re in charge of the city. Keep calm. That’s why I did all those events. I was in a wheelchair but I wanted to get out there and show people I was as strong as they were.”
When the city went in to lockdown, Menino said he trusted the emergency responders.
“I had faith in the Police Department of Boston, they would find him and get him and they did. And it came across the police radio. It said, ‘mayor, we got the suspect’ and that was the end of it,” he said. “The thing that impressed me the most afterwards, was how I drove out of Watertown, and people were on street corners, singing “God Bless America” waving the American flag.”