BOSTON — This will undoubtedly be an emotional day for the locals here in Boston as the Orioles play the Red Sox for Patriots' Day. Two years ago, the Boston Marathon bombing occurred less than two miles away from Fenway Park, killing three people and injuring another 264 near the finish line of the marathon.
For the second straight year, the Orioles are playing the Red Sox during marathon weekend. They were here last year when the Red Sox honored bombing victims and law enforcement officials, medical personnel, runners and race volunteers that day in a 20-minute pre-game ceremony before a nationally-televised ESPN game that Sunday.
Ironically, today is also the 16th anniversary of the Columbine school shooting in Colorado, and Orioles right-hander Kevin Gausman was affected by that event.
Gausman grew up in nearby Aurora, Colo., 20 minutes away from Columbine High School, where 12 students and a teacher died at the hands of two student gunmen. He was in his middle-school classroom 20 minutes away when the shootings occurred. His school went on lockdown immediately.
"I was in class and my dad was a teacher in my middle school and he came into my room and took me out and said you're coming into my room," Gausman said.
Gausman also lived 15 minutes away from a movie theater where a shooting took place during a midnight screening of "The Dark Night Rises," leading to 12 deaths and 70 injuries in July of 2012. Gausman had just been drafted by the Orioles the previous month and was in Sarasota for instructional league.
The mention of Columbine still brings back some scary memories for Gausman. He remembers the changes that the event prompted. Much like now in Boston, life changed for everyone.
"Obviously, when I see anything about Columbine, it brings back some crazy memories," Gausman said. "Everything just completely changed after that happened. That was the first time schools literally had legit security and especially in Colorado, they locked down schools. Every school had a metal detector. It was pretty crazy."