BOSTON (CBS) – Hundreds of people were injured by the two bombs planted at the Boston Marathon Finish line on April 15, 2013. Seventeen people lost limbs, including Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes. That day forever changed their lives, but theirs is a story of love, courage, and strength; and that is a central theme in the new movie Patriots Day, opening in Boston on Wednesday.
On that April day, the newlyweds had a rare day off together and decided to head to Boylston Street to watch the race. “We were not there to see anyone or cheer for anyone. We just knew we wanted to make the Marathon a part of our day,” Jessica explained.
“I didn’t see or hear anything unusual,” Jessica said, describing the moments before the explosion. “And all of a sudden it just felt like we were on a rocket.”
“I don’t remember anything from when the bombs went off,” Patrick said. “[But] Jess was hyper alert.”
Jessica immediately put her nursing skills to work, tying her purse straps around Patrick’s leg wound in an effort to stop the bleeding.
“When we were on [the movie] set, to see that scene recreated and then see it on the big screen was incredibly emotional,” said Patrick.
When asked what surprised her most about the movie, Jessica said it was watching the scenes of the two of them in the hospital. “I guess I never really sat and thought that Patrick and I must have been in surgery at the same time. It flashes back and forth between the two actors which were actually in different hospitals,” she said. “I struggle to describe what that scene was like, but it’s beautiful to me and it’s powerful.”
The incredible bond between this couple, and their determination, is an important part of what motivated director Peter Berg to want to tell this story. “Patrick and Jessica was this young, beautiful couple in the infancy of their marriage. They were so attacked and so blindsided by this, and yet they’ve picked themselves up. Their marriage is strong. Their love is strong. They are just deeply inspirational,” he said.
Patrick and Jessica say they draw their inspiration from the incredible support they have received from the people of Boston. It’s been a powerful force for Jessica, who is from California. “I feel connected in a way that I can’t express, and indebted in a way too,” she said.
“In Boston we have been celebrated, because people continued to be interested in us, in our stories, in the stories of all the people who suffered that day,” Patrick said.
Once again the City rallied around this young couple when they cheered Patrick as he finished this year’s Boston Marathon. “I wanted to send a message of gratitude to the people of Boston and beyond, who have been so supportive of us,” Patrick explained.
Patriots Day is produced by our sister company CBS Films.