Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick recalled Tuesday he was on his way home to work in the garden when his daughter called him one year ago with news of a loud "boom" downtown.
The phone call kicked off a lengthy effort to uplift the city of Boston and find the suspects who turned its joyous marathon into a deadly scene.
Mr. Patrick, a Democrat, told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell he had been at the marathon to honor elite runners who finished the race early on, but then headed home because his afternoon schedule was unusually clear.
But he quickly had to head back downtown to help direct the response and investigation into the twin blasts that killed three and wounded scores more.
He said it took about 36 to 48 hours for investigators to get the "grainy images" of their suspects, brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and start the manhunt that ended with Tamerlan's death and Dzhokhar's capture.
One year later, Mr. Patrick is observing the tragedy in a tribute to the victims Tuesday and looking forward to cheering on this year's runners, some of whom were unable to finish last year because of the bombings.
"This community is indeed citywide and commonweath-wide," he said.
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