IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Officer Tommy Barrett Looks Back on One of Marathon's Most Iconic Photos

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: In the enclosed photo, Boston Police Officer Tommy Barrett is seen assisting and carrying a young boy, who had been injured in the attack on last year’s Boston Marathon, to safety. With the one year anniversary of the attack on the Boston Marathon fast approaching, we caught up to Officer Barrett and respectfully asked him to recount the feelings he felt looking back on the photo almost a year after it was taken. 

Said Barrett, “When I look back at the photo, I say to myself that I am really glad that I was able to be in the right place at the right time … if that sounds right. I am thankful that a person who had just been involved in the explosion had the wits about them to grab the little boy, realize that he needed to be removed quickly, saw me and instinctively handed him over to me and then, amazingly, went right back to helping other more severely injured persons. I wish I had been able to find out the identity of the person who handed the little boy - who I came to know as Leo - over to me to complete the ‘chain of custody’ for Leo. I did meet up with the Paramedics that I handed him over to but I don’t know who handed Leo to me. Looking at the photo, I also realize just how quickly everybody (Police, EMS, Fire and bystanders) mobilized to help out. Literally, the smoke hadn't cleared before people were helping. If I had to use one word to describe the photo, I’d say relief. Although that feeling … the feeling of relief … only came later in the week after I was able to locate Leo at his hospital and learn that he had not been seriously hurt. When he was handed to me, I really never saw his face because how he was handed to me with his back facing me. And then, once I had him, I cradled him like a football running down to Exeter Street. When I looked at my uniform later on, I noticed that I had a lot of blood on my yellow vest and jacket and it concerned me because I didn't know how much may have come from Leo. When I learned that he was okay, that much needed answer was music to my ears. It was great to get that news.”