SCITUATE, R.I. (WPRI) – A Rhode Island State Trooper who sprang into action during the Boston Marathon Bombing in 2013 is once again running in the race.
Trooper Roupen Bastajian had just finished the race and was standing about 200 yards down the road when the first bomb went off. Despite being off-duty and out of uniform, he immediately ran towards the scene and started assisting first responders with tying tourniquets and getting the injured into wheelchairs.
He is running again on Monday, just as he has every year since then. But he acknowledged that returning to Boston stirs up many feelings for everyone involved.
“Obviously it was a horrific day and it’s a bad memory for everybody,” he told Eyewitness News. “All those families who lost loved ones, it’s like they have to live with that for the rest of their lives. So that’s just not something that goes away.”
Sometimes the emotions return as he nears the finish line, he admitted, but along with them comes a sense of gratitude and resolve.
“I feel it as I get onto Boylston Street and it just kind of…reality kicks in for a little bit, but you take it in and you’re grateful that the community and all the runners are out there and doing what they’re supposed to do,” he said, “supporting and not letting anything hinder the freedoms that we have in our country.”
Along with several other Troopers who are running, Bastajian has helped raise more than $11,000 for the charity Cops for Kids With Cancer, which donates money every year to a deserving family.