People ponder America's safety at Boston bombing survivor event - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

People ponder America's safety at Boston bombing survivor event

(Source: Mike Mohundro, KFVS) (Source: Mike Mohundro, KFVS)

"I saw a flash of white, saw three pops and I was on the ground," Jeff Bauman said. 

It was these words he uttered in a speech in the Academic Hall on Southeast's campus on Sunday when referencing the Boston Marathon bombing a couple years ago. 

A day of celebration for many turned into a nightmare.

And Bauman unfortunately had a front row seat to it all. 

Boston Marathon survivor Jeff Bauman visited Southeast's Campus to share his story of hope and strength after witnessing the events at the Boston Marathon in 2013.

Bauman was the keynote speaker for Patriot Day kicking off Southeast's 2015-2016 Speaker Series. 

On April 15, 2013, Bauman stood at the finish line awaiting his girlfriend Erin's finish at the Boston Marathon. 

"It was nuts. There was like a 100,000 people there," Bauman said. 

He says he soon realized that something wasn't right after seeing an ominous looking man in dark clothing. 

"This kid bumped into me and he looked out of place," Bauman expressed.

Bauman still awaiting his girlfriends arrival, looked back at the ominous person again. 

"I looked back and the kid wasn't there but there was a bag laying there," Bauman said. 

Then, the first explosion happened. 

"I lifted my head and saw on the chaos," Bauman said. "I looked down and saw my leg is completely off. I had tunnel vision on my legs. This is bad."

"Then I heard the second explosion. I didn't know what was going on. I was thinking, I might die here," Bauman feared. 

A man in a cowboy hat ran over to Bauman and began to hit him and yell at him to keep Bauman conscience. 

"Carlos picked me up with one hand and threw me in a wheelchair," Bauman exclaimed. "I didn't know what was going on. They were saving my life."

Bauman lost both his legs from the blast.

After Bauman woke up in the emergency room, he talked with FBI agents and helped identify the ominous looking man he bumped into and saw. 

"Erin thought I was dead and she never finished the race," Bauman said. "She thought I was dead."

He focused on his recovery after that. Bauman later went out to wave a flag at the Boston Bruins game, threw out the first pitch at a Red Sox game and was labeled by many a hero. 

People we spoke with outside the event say it makes them think about what he went through. 

"It just gives you a sense of inspiration," Katie Inman said. "Most of us don't go through traumatic bombings every day and we do have smaller problems. But if someone like him can overcome all these issues like losing his legs, the rest of us can overcome our obstacles too."

As far as the response to this bombing along with other issues, people say it is an issue that is hard to comprehend in what the government should do to keep America safe. 

"I do think America should be involved in protecting our country but at the same time there are other problems to worry about. It's a hard thing to talk about," Inman said.

"You want the best for our country but at the same time you don't want to be like shooting everybody."

Miranda Geer from Peoria, IL says she would like to see America safer but feels it's a hard task for the government to recognize where all the threats are. 

"I think we are doing the best we can without straight up racial profiling," Geer said.

"You can't stop them before they happen if you don't know people are going to do that unless you just go around suspecting random civilians."

"I think America should protect itself a little bit better but it's really hard to try to prevent stuff like that," Inman said. "You just never know."

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