Essays that earned Marathon spots

Edward Deveau, 57, Watertown, Mass.

I am the Police Chief in Watertown, Mass. We supported the Boston Police Department within minutes after the explosions occurred on Boylston Street. We continued to support them for the next four days. On April 19th in the early morning hours, my officers acted heroically defending a back street in Watertown, Boston, and the entire country. For 8½ minutes they were shot at and had four bombs thrown at them. The actions they took saved many, many more lives. They are among the real heroes who emerged by helping and protecting others without any regard for their own personal safety. I was directly involved minutes after the bombing, playing a lead role in the Unified Command Post for the next 20 hours. I worked with Boston, State, MIT, Cambridge Police Departments, FBI and many more local, state, and federal agencies to capture the second suspect and end their terrorist acts. I have run the Boston Marathon three times, and I want to run the 26 miles in 2014 with some of my officers and cross the finish line together. To me, it will be a statement that no terrorist act will stop Boston from being united. The 2014 Marathon will be watched by others across the world, and they will see how a city can come together in crisis and in the end come out even stronger. Thank you for reading my application.

Karleen Herbst, 23, South Boston

Last year, my colleagues and I were in Crate & Barrel hosting a reception for the family and friends of the Playworks Boston Marathon team. When we heard the first explosion, we walked towards the windows only to witness the second explosion go off right below us. Just minutes before this tragedy, we were on the sidewalk cheering on our runners. The next hours of our lives were filled with fear, confusion and uncertainty. We did not know where we were safe and were concerned the city we called home was under attack. Experiencing these tragic events with my coworkers is something that will bond us for the rest of our lives.

That is why this year I would like to run the 2014 Boston Marathon in honor of the lives lost and lives forever changed. Receiving this bib would give me a sense of closure and end the sleepless nights of asking myself "What If?" I would use this bib to help raise money for Playworks, the organization where I work. Playworks serves over 15,000 students across Boston & Lawrence, using the power of play to bring out the best in every kid. Playworks ensures students are safe and included in areas of Boston that are generally considered dangerous and high-risk. On the day of the Marathon, I felt unsafe in the city of Boston for the very first time; however, I know this is something our Playworks students experience daily. Receiving these bibs will bring closure for my colleagues and me, as well as raise awareness and funds for the children of Boston.

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