Bells ring at UMass Dartmouth to mark Boston bombings
Bells tolled at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth on Monday, following a moment of silence observed on campus.
It was one of many institutions marking the Boston Marathon bombings one year ago. But for this campus, the terror that struck Boston hit close to home.
"We definitely rallied together as a tighter community after that," said junior Eric Krastunen.
Krastunen lived in the same residence hall as suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev. He remembers vividly the campus being evacuated days after the marathon as part of the investigation.
"The fire alarm went off and all I had was my key and UMass pass to swipe into buildings and then I went downstairs into the lobby there were cops everywhere," Krastunen said.
Junior Renee Laurencelle remembers too.
"It was really chaotic, but everybody came together as a school, as a community. Strangers were going up to each other, 'Are you OK? Do you need a place to go?" Laurencelle said.
Now they want to turn the negative association into a positive.
Krastunen and Laurencelle are running in this year's Boston Marathon and raising money for the Krystle Campbell Scholarship Fund.
Campbell was a UMass Boston alumna who was killed in the bombings.
"I wanted to run the Boston Marathon at some point and now it's more special that I get to run it for a cause rather than just for myself," Laurencelle said.
"I feel very privileged to be able to be part of that first group of runners that gets to run the Boston Marathon after what happened," Krastunen said.
A T-shirt sale is part of their fundraising effort.
Together, they've raised about $4,000, and together they are part of this community's ongoing effort to move forward.
"We definitely rallied together after what happened. It was a tighter community in the weeks after and it still remains that way today, which is very nice" Krastunen said.
Among all of the UMass campuses, students have raised about $50,000 for Krystle Campbell Scholarship Fund so far.
The Dartmouth campus community will hold a vigil Tuesday to officially mark one year since the marathon bombings.