Monday, April 15, 2013


My sisters and I recently went to the Titanic exhibit at the Franklin Institute.

At the end, there's a wall of lists with all the survivors and those who perished in the different classes. Later in the exhibit was a plaque talking about a mother who was constantly checking the newspapers to see if her son's name would be listed among the survivors.

I told my sisters, "That never happens anymore."

Tonight, now that we know three people have died as a result of the explosions at the Boston Marathon, I've just wrapped up updating a list of locals who were registered to run the race. Especially in the direct aftermath, it was difficult to get through and check if everyone was alright.

Through Google's people finder service or information posted on our Facebook page, I've slowly been able to add a "#" symbol beside names of those who have checked in with family or friends.

I interviewed a man who ran the race to try and get his account over the phone. He said he'd gotten 20 texts "over two minutes" after the explosion to see if he was all right.

"We can Tweet out that you're okay," I told him on an impulse. "If you want, we can do that to let anybody know who hasn't reached you yet."

"That'd be great," he replied. "Yeah, go ahead and do that."

Officially, the Titanic sank 101 years ago on April 15.

And, again, we're listing survivors' names in the paper.

How does this happen?