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Our Marathon: An Archive for the People

Personal accounts in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings grew rampant across various mediums, such as social media and multiple news outlets. James McGrath, a Ph.D. candidate at Northeastern University, saw the opportunity to create a lasting outlet for the greater Boston community to save these memories and share their stories with one another. Shortly after the tragedy, McGrath, with the help of many of those impacted, created Our Marathon: The Boston Bombing Digital Archive. With so much attention being directed towards the bombers, the creators wanted to highlight something other than the alarm and chaos that took over that day. Instead, they focused on the heroes.

The Our Marathon project began after the 2013 Marathon as an outlet for those affected to post and share their personal stories. Since then, the site has partnered up with WCVB-TV, The Boston Globe's GlobeLab and other organizations to spread the word in hopes of creating a lasting collection for the public. Today, the Our Marathon site holds photos, blogs, videos, and social media content all dedicated to the 2013 Marathon. The site is open to anyone looking to share a personal story or simply heal from the words and images of others.

Christie Merino / Gavel Media

Christie Merino / Gavel Media

By visiting the site, individuals can find current news and stories centering on the days following the marathon and current movements memorializing the event.  The site gives the public access to events attributed to the Marathon, such as the upcoming “Share Your Story” days located at public libraries around Boston. Most importantly, Our Marathon preserves each story, picture or article posted. Unlike most sites that are constantly changing, the creators wanted a space that the public could hold onto. Even ten years from now, the hope is that people will be impacted by the stories of the Marathon and the resiliency of the city of Boston.

Christie Merino / Gavel Media

Christie Merino / Gavel Media

Like many residents of the greater Boston area, Boston College students felt the effects of the Marathon bombings. Having experienced the events right in our backyard, many of us shared the fear, the inspiration and the hope that consumed so many lives on that day and the days soon after. The Our Marathon project shares these feelings and offers a space for individuals to speak out.

Christie Merino / Gavel Media

Christie Merino / Gavel Media

For students interested in telling a story of their own, the site provides an easy step-by-step process located at the top of their home page.  McGrath encourages anyone willing to open up about his or her experience or thoughts to do so in the hopes that the community can reflect on these experiences as well. The Our Marathon archive has elicited a sense of optimism as we look forward to the upcoming 2014 Marathon. As members of the Boston community, we each have our own story to be told. The Our Marathon archive allows us to tell these stories in a way that can be heard across the country. 

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