Honoring Those We Have Lost

Coombs Race honors victims of the Boston Marathon Bombing alongside those of 9/11

This story was covered in 2013, the first year that the school newspaper moved to this website. Green Wave Gazette Contributor Jaci Sloan and Boston Marathon hero Carlos Arredondo meet at the 2013 Jeffrey Coombs Race.

Jaci Sloan, with permission

This story was covered in 2013, the first year that the school newspaper moved to this website. Green Wave Gazette Contributor Jaci Sloan and Boston Marathon hero Carlos Arredondo meet at the 2013 Jeffrey Coombs Race.

On September 8, the 12th annual Jeff Coombs Memorial Road Race was held in memory of victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. According to their website, the annual road race, walk and family day drew in almost 1,000 people from all over New England, and raised about $30,000. The money will be used to provide assistance to families in need and to help fund enrichment programs within Abington. This year’s race was a little different from previous years. The victims of the Boston Marathon bombing were honored alongside the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, making this year dear to many.

Carlos Arredondo, the hero in the cowboy hat who assisted victims after the Boston Marathon bombings, was the one to give the starting command to begin the race. He is well known for representing the heroism of bystanders after he was photographed pushing Jeff Bauman through the streets of Boston after the bombings, thus helping save his life

Last year, after the Boston Marathon bombings, Abington High junior, Jaci Sloan wrote a letter to Arredondo that was published in the June 2013 Green Wave Gazette along with other pieces from Dr. Gonsalves English classes written about that day. The letter thanked him for his courageous actions, deeming him a “true American hero.” After seeing the letter on the Gazette’s webpage, Arredondo later wrote back to Sloan, and the two were able to communicate over the phone. But, they were unable to meet face to face until the Coombs Race. For Sloan, it was an unforgettable experience.

“When I first found out he was going to be there, I just had to go,” said Sloan.  One can only imagine her excitement upon hearing that she was able to meet him. According to Sloan, she learned that “even an everyday citizen can become a hero just by one selfless act. He definitely has changed my perspective on bystanders being a hero.” This is an important message to share, for one act can impact another, and maybe even change a life with one act of kindness.

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