Martinez family continues to deal with wounds from Boston Marathon bombing
MARTINEZ, Calif. (KTVU) - It's now been exactly two years since a pair of brothers unleashed hell on the Boston Marathon. Three people were killed in the double bombing at the end of the race and 260 people were injured.
One East Bay couple continues to deal with the wounds left behind after their son was seriously injured.
Katherine and Alan Hern of Martinez both teach P.E. at Alhambra High School. "I think a lot of the kids like the idea. They think it's cool," says Katherine.
On this day, they wore matching shirts with special meaning, saying Boston Strong. "It's kind of a reminder for us and shows everybody else that it's not something that we want people to forget about," says Alan.
On April 15th, 2013, Katherine was running the marathon as her husband and their two children waited at the finish line. That's when the explosions happened. "Once the bomb went off, he was in a cloud of smoke, anybody that was in there was just like it disappeared," said Alan about his then 11-year-old son, Aaron.
Aaron has since recovered from his leg injury, but there are problems. "He feels like he is not as big as some of his peers, and again, we wonder, did that affect his development where he's behind because he was recovering physically for so long that there was no time to grow because his energy was spent on healing," explained Alan.
Alan Hern testified in the criminal case against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, in which the admitted bomber was convicted on 30 counts. "It just gets magnified, because now you're feeling everybody else's pain. And what they went through. And you feel it in your gut because you went through it yourself. And you know how bad it is."
Now, the question remains: will Tsarnaev get the death penalty? "It won't bring back any of the lives that were lost, it won't bring back any of the limbs that were lost, it won't change people's lives. It won't improve them in any way. Some people may get some feeling of justice out of it, if that's a change in your life, OK, but in reality, I just don't know if it matters," said Katherine Hern.
Despite the passage of time, the Herns say it feels like it was yesterday. "Going through something like that changes you forever, it's just this little thing, sometimes it's big, sometimes it's little. But it's just always there," says Katherine.
The couple now has a third child named Caroline, with whom Katherine was pregnant during the race. Their older daughter Abigail is doing well in school. So is Aaron, who is also a four sport athlete.
The Herns are thankful for his health and for their community. "It was just overwhelming in a good way, obviously. And we'll be forever grateful for that outpouring of love and support," exclaimed Katherine.
On the night of the two year anniversary, the family is going for a run, together.