The YMCA, Always Here For Our Community

2016 Speaker

Jeff Bauman

Boston Marathon Survivor and National Hero

On April 15, 2013 Jeff Bauman stood at the finish line of the Boston Marathon eagerly awaiting his girlfriend Erin, who was running in support of a local charity.

As he waited, an ominous looking man dressed in dark clothing appeared, and Jeff immediately had a sinking feeling. The man who seemed so out of place on such a festive day dropped a black backpack only feet away from Bauman and moments later, the first of two explosions rocked Boylston Street.

Jeff was gravely injured, losing both of his legs along with other serious injuries. When the smoke cleared and Jeff realized what had happened, he immediately thought he was going to die. Then, amongst the smoke and carnage appeared Carlos Arrendondo, a peace activist who was at the marathon that day to hand out American flags in honor of his fallen sons. Carlos, now known as the man in the cowboy hat, quickly lifted Jeff and got him to an ambulance, saving his life. Later that day, a photo of Jeff and Carlos surfaced and is now the most iconic image of the marathon tragedy.

Once inside the ambulance, Jeff told the EMTs that he knew who had set off the bomb. Despite being somewhat delirious and in shock, he still remembered the man in dark clothing with whom he’d made eye contact with just minutes before the blast. When he arrived at the hospital, he told officers and medical staff that he knew who did it, but he was rushed into the emergency room and into surgery so quickly that he didn’t have time to share the details.

When Jeff woke up, FBI agents were outside his door. He started talking, a sketch artist started drawing, and soon the FBI had identified the two suspects. Days later their reign of terror over the city of Boston had ended and Jeff Bauman went from a normal 27 year old Costco employee, musician and Boston sports fan, to national hero.

Since that tragic day, Jeff has remained a beacon of hope, strength and resilience. Now he is sharing his story with audiences across the county in a presentation that will be sure to uplift and inspire.