When asked if he was hesitant to come, Dan Titus said, “The wife more. We were supposed to eat in town, but my wife wouldn’t let me. We’re just going to watch the game and go.”
Others altered game-day routines, most choosing not to linger in large crowds in the city before or after the Bruins played. Fitzgerald did not want to park in the garage beneath the Garden, as he usually does. Any cars that entered the North Station Garden garage during the day were inspected.
“I don’t want to be trapped under the building,” said Fitzgerald. “You don’t want to think that way. But the people going to the marathon, I’m sure they didn’t think anything was going to happen. But I’m not going to stay in my house and let them win.”
Others couldn’t help but take a second look at people in the area with backpacks.
“If you see someone with a backpack, you worry what’s in the backpack,” said Nirva Penbeyan-Renzett, who received tickets as a birthday present. “But I’m one of those people where if it’s your time, it’s your time.”
Duncan Devlin, a season ticket-holder from Fitchburg, went to the game with his girlfriend and a large number of his girlfriend’s relatives. Beforehand, the group expressed some concern that what happened at the marathon could happen at the Garden. But Devlin kept making the point that “Garden security knows what it’s doing.” He also said he has felt more nervous going to games in Vancouver for the Stanley Cup Final, or Montreal, while wearing a Bruins jersey.
“I wear the spoked-B on my chest with pride,” said Devlin. “Tonight, I’m wearing the B to represent the Bruins and the great city of Boston.”
Brian Lawlor and Katie Clark of Medford stood out on the concourse in their running gear. They both ran the marathon for the Boston Bruins Foundation and wore their Bruins race singlets, marathon jackets, and finisher’s medals. Lawlor added his race number. Bruins fans passing by stopped to congratulate him.
“You’re not going to instill terror in us,” said Lawlor, who was stopped a half-mile from the finish line and spent a panicked 90 minutes trying to reach his parents, who were waiting for him on Boylston Street not far from where the bombs went off. “We’ll be there for the 118th Boston Marathon. I’m going to run.”
On Patriots Day, Christopher Walsh of South Boston had his own marathon planned, going from the Red Sox game to the marathon finish line to the Bruins game that was scheduled. He left the Sox game early and headed to the marathon. He was near Kenmore Square cheering runners as they entered the final mile when the bombs went off. He draped an American flag over a Bruins jersey and wore a Red Sox cap to the game.
“I wanted to be as respectful as possible,” Walsh said of his decision to wear the flag. “Bruins fans show their colors of black and gold, but we are all red, white, and blue. Nothing could stop us from coming to our stadium. This is our city. Boston is strong.”
Shira Springer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.