BOSTON (CBS) – State and city leaders gathered Monday to focus on what worked in responding to last year’s Boston Marathon bombings and how they can best protect everyone at this year’s marathon.

David Fortier of Newburyport was just crossing the finish line as the bombs went off.

“What do you remember about that moment?” WBZ-TV Chief Correspondent Joe Shortsleeve asked Fortier.

“A huge flash off to my left, it felt like a brick had hit me on the side of my head…..”

He ended up with bomb fragments in his leg and he suffers from hearing loss. But he knows he was very lucky, too.

Fortier will run again this year and has only good things to say about the Boston community.

“Personally I am in a better place, I saw a lot that day … as a lot of people did and experienced a lot,” he said.

“One of the things that stands out to me is the community that formed. I actually got to see it in real time at that moment.”

Fortier was part of a daylong forum at Boston University: “Leading Cities Through Crisis: Lessons learned from the Boston Marathon.”

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports

It was put together by former Boston Mayor Tom Menino, who now works at Boston University as part of their Initiative on Cities.

Menino says “public safety officials, health care officials, volunteers, that is what is special about this marathon. Everyone came together. Boston is a stronger city and more resilient city since that marathon.”

Former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis says this year’s marathon will be very different.

“This a big, big day for the city of Boston. And I’m looking forward to being part of it.”

Shortsleeve interjected, “obviously you have stepped away but you can’t step away completely.”

Davis added, “No you can’t. This is something that will be with people forever who were part of it. So it will be a very poignant day.”

When former Mayor Menino spoke, he told the crowd about how he and Gov. Deval Patrick began creating a victim’s assistance fund within hours of the bombing. To date, the One Fund has distributed about $61 million.



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