Atlanta’s moment of silence for Boston after the attack

By David Pendered

Atlantans are paying quiet respects to Boston following the explosions during the Boston Marathon.

Atlanta artist Walter Cumming completed this sketch a few hours before the terrorist attack began. Credit: waltercumming.wordpress.com

Atlanta artist Walter Cumming completed this sketch a few hours before the terrorist attack began. Credit: waltercumming.wordpress.com

Artist Walter Cumming was watching the event live on an internet feed, drawing during the race, and posted drawings from his sketchbook scant hours after the blasts. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed issued a statement. MARTA and other agencies advised that security has been increased, including what appear to be additional patrol cars parked near the state Capitol.

On Thursday, Atlanta Councilmember H. Lamar Willis intends to honor Boston’s victims with a moment of silence before his weekly run/walk, which he does with city employees.

Atlanta knows the pain of bombs that hurt civilians.

Marks from the bomb that went off in Centennial Olympic Park during the 1996 Summer Olympic Games remain on a statue in the park.

The next year, bombs detonated at an abortion clinic in Sandy Springs and at a lesbian bar in Atlanta.

The heightened state of anxiety has led to extra vigilance. Two alarms proved to be false.

A suspicious package inside a Wells Fargo Bank at 4454 Roswell Road was reported Wednesday at 11:05 a.m. to Atlanta police, police said. The bank was evacuated, the intersection of Roswell near Wieuca Road was shut to vehicles and pedestrians. A SWAT team arrived and examined the package – determining it was guidebooks.

On Tuesday, at about 1 p.m., Atlanta police officers responded to a call near Turner Field, near Hank Aaron Drive and Georgia Avenue, concerning a suspicious package under a garbage can that appeared to contain an electronic device. The call was made by the ballpark’s security squad, which was out on routine patrol. A SWAT team responded, and police said the device appeared to be no threat.

Atlanta artist Walter Cumming drew this sketch of the lead female runner hours before the explosion. Credit: waltercumming.wordpress.com

Atlanta artist Walter Cumming drew this sketch of the lead female runner hours before the explosion. Credit: waltercumming.wordpress.com

Cumming, the artist, posted his drawings beneath a two-paragraph introduction. It reads:

  • “This is a nightmare. I have run and finished 10 Boston marathons from 1979 to 2007 (2:34:52 best time). Even among runners, I would qualify as a Boston fanatic. “This is a tragedy beyond my imagination. My sacred Boston Marathon will never be the same. My heart goes out to the runners, spectators and  families who are affected.
  • “These sketches were drawn live in my sketch book from an internet live stream in my studio in Atlanta this [Monday] morning. The top women and men finished around noon, about three hours before the bombs.”

Reed issued this statement early Monday evening:

“My thoughts and prayers are with the City of Boston today and all those who have been affected by today’s tragic events. I am deeply saddened to hear of the loss of life and injuries suffered by so many people. Here at home, the City of Atlanta’s First Responders are currently taking additional measures to enhance the safety of our citizens and protect them from senseless acts of violence.”

Note to readers: Pendered and Cumming worked together for many years at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

 

David Pendered, Managing Editor, is an Atlanta journalist with more than 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written for print and digital publications, and advised on media and governmental affairs. Previously, he spent more than 26 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and won awards for his coverage of schools and urban development. David graduated from North Carolina State University and was a Western Knight Center Fellow. David was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in North Carolina and is married to a fifth-generation Atlantan.

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