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posted: 4/15/2014 5:01 AM

Boston: Student's sax captured mood of the day

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I returned from class at Boston's Berklee College of Music on April 15, 2013, and entered my dorm room when my roommate asked if I had heard any explosions. Thinking about my day, I said to him that it could be the loud construction downstairs.

As I scrolled through my Facebook newsfeed I came across a picture that was startling. I read the post and learned that two explosions had gone off at the Boston Marathon. In that moment, I was in utter shock. From that point on, life in Boston changed forever.

I rushed outside and walked against the wave of frightened people. There I stopped at the barricade at Boylston and Massachusetts avenues. Ambulances, police cars, Secret Service and armored military vehicles sped through the streets of Boston in drill-like fashion. I had never seen so many emergency vehicles in my life.

I then walked along the perimeter of a restricted 15-block area to the Boston Marathon finish line. Police and military personnel formed impenetrable barricades at each intersection, full weapons drawn. As evening approached and the madness of it sunk in, I reflected on the victims and the community at large, I longed for a return to normalcy.

On day 2, I walked the barricaded perimeter again, this time with my saxophone in hand. I played mournful songs for its victims and patriotic songs to lift the spirits, hoping to bring a message of peace to Bostonians believing that there are more good people in this world than bad.

A gentleman from WBUR, Boston's NPR, approached me to record my playing. He believed it captured the mood in Boston. One year later, my brother helped me to create a short documentary with my reflections.

Kevin Busse


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