Steps Toward Emotional Healing in Boston

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    NEWSLETTERS

    People impacted by the marathon bombs are finding support from friends and strangers alike (Published Sunday, Jan 26, 2014)

    (NECN: Jack Thurston, Boston) - Dan Sinnott of Nashua, N.H. returned to downtown Boston Thursday, days after twin bomb blasts stopped his run of the Boston Marathon a half mile before the finish line.

    "I just wanted to take a moment to reflect on what transpired the other day," he told New England Cable News.

    Sinnott also returned to pick up his marathon medal, which the crisis kept him from claiming. It may provide Sinnott a small bit of peace, but the runner said it doesn't quite feel right wearing it when so many others are still hurting.

    "I've thought about donating it to some of the first responders that were there that day, the Boston EMS folks, who were really the true heroes," Sinnott said.

    At Boston's First Lutheran Church, the Illinois group Lutheran Church Charities brought its comfort dogs to visit with Bostonians. The animals are golden retrievers who train for 10 months to maintain a calm demeanor meant to transfer to their new human friends.

    "People love dogs and they love what our dogs do," said Tim Hetzner of Lutheran Church Charities.

    Kim Silvis, who works near the blast site and visited the comfort dogs, told NECN she is still shaken up and sad after Monday's events. But Maggie, her furry "counselor," didn't mind if she needed to cry or vent.

    "They're relaxed and I'm more relaxed," Silvis said. "And just taking a break -- taking a break from all the excitement."

    President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama visited bombing victims at Boston hospitals Thursday, including Brigham and Women's Hospital. Outside the Brigham, Yami Theodore called the Obamas' stops proof the nation is wishing Boston the best in its healing.

    "It's important for all of us to get together during this crisis," she said.

    Dan Sinnott said it's important to him to show the bomber or bombers he is "Boston proud," promising to run the marathon next Patriot's Day. He said this year, he and dozens of other runners raised $1.2-million for the American Liver Foundation through running in the Marathon. Sinnott suggested he hopes to do even better for the group in 2014.

    "There's no way I'm missing this race next year," he said. "No way."