BOSTON (CBS) – Patrick Downes, a survivor of the Boston Marathon bombings, thought he was coming to Copley Place on Thursday to participate in a video with his wife Jessica about her service dog, Rescue.
He had no idea what Jessica, who is also a survivor of the bombings, had waiting for him inside.
It began as the two were walking in.
They heard someone singing, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Bernice Corpuz reports
All of the sudden, dancers began to converge on the singer, and a flash mob formed.
Watch: The Flash Mob Video
Patrick began to recognize familiar faces in the crowd.
The flash mob included survivors, nurses and social workers who treated them, their families, friends and supporters.
“The special part for me was all the familiar faces in the group,” Jessica told WBZ-TV.
“The majority of which we’ve met through this process, through the last 10 months. They were part of our recovery so do something where we are all dancing and celebrating, and not doing our wound care and dressing changes. It’s just really fun.”
The entire flash mob was organized by the group NEADS as a surprise for Patrick from Jessica and a Valentine for the City of Boston.
“There has clearly been a lot of sadness over the last 10 months and I don’t think that will go away but there is also a lot of reasons to celebrate,” Patrick said.
“There have been so many people that have come together over these last months, our city and the larger community and that’s something to be celebrated, because it a wonderful product that has come out of a tragedy,” Patrick explained.
“We continue to be so grateful for the community that surrounded us. People have treated us with tremendous amounts of love and care, and we wouldn’t be there without them.”
Cathy Zemaitis and Lisa Brown of NEADS explained that this was one of many ways to say thank you to the city.
“This was a way for all of those who are still reeling from the impact of that horrendous event to say thank you to Boston – thank you for the incredible support you continue to show, and for being a city that is so resilient,” they said.
Lauren Vulcano, who was just feet from one of the bombs when it exploded, came to Copley with her parents.
“I was almost about to cry. I was so happy!” she said afterwards. “It was wonderful. It was so nice to have a positive spin on everything that has been going on and all come together for the good of our community and spread some smiles around Valentine’s Day.”
Lauren Harney, one of the nurses who treated Jessica at Boston Medical Center, was also there.
“It was amazing. It really was amazing!” she said when asked what it was like to dance in the flash mob. “For me it was a part of this whole healing process. It was good for my heart and soul to do something like that. It was wonderful.”
Other survivors who came included Lynn Julian and her husband, who live near Copley.
“I’ve struggled a lot with this being my neighborhood. I live a block away. And now we came today and have this happy memory. And now every time I come through the mall, which is a few days a week I’m going to have a happy memory,” she said.
She also says she never thought she’d be dancing so soon.
“These types of memories wipe the black board clean of what they did and rewrite happy memories over the same places they tried to take from us. And we won’t let them take them,” Julian said.
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