Boylston Street at the finish line of the Boston Marathon is a setting known for celebration, but in an instant, it turned into chaos and then a crime scene Monday. Twenty-four hours later, it's a place to leave flowers, hang up T-shirts and marathon medals and reflect.
"I hope I never have to see something like this again," said Boston resident Robert Pietsch.
But thousands will walk up to the dividers blocking portions of Boylston Street, which stands frozen in time - debris and blankets dropped and left when the explosion hit still sit on the street.
Onlookers crowded the barriers Tuesday because they couldn't look away. The shock of Marathon Monday has turned into a quest to get a grasp on the harsh reality for some like Robert Pietsch, a Bostonian wanting to remember it all.
"It's a historic thing happening, it's definitely something that you want to have some firsthand images in your own mind," he said.
Others like marathoner Kim Goff also stood at the barricade. She ran from the scene as fast as she could Monday after she crossed the finish line.
"I was on the phone with my mother and I heard two distinct loud bangs and I thought it was a cannon," she said.
On Tuesday, she came back to try and make sense of it all.
"I just wanted to come down and see and it's devastating to know that I along with thousands of others were in this area not even 24 hours ago. It's extremely sad, but we will rise," she said.
A portion of Boylston Street is still an active crime scene as the FBI continues to investigate these bombings.
Copyright 2013 WSHM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.