As a reporter for the Boston Herald, Dave Wedge had a front-row view of the Boston Marathon bombings and their immediate aftermath. With Boston Strong: A City’s Triumph Over Tragedy (University Press of New England, 2015), he and author Casey Sherman chronicle the lives of the victims and their recoveries, as well as the manhunt for the Tsarnaev brothers, up to the 2014 race one year later. They’ve also been working with screenwriters for a major motion picture based on the book, which was optioned before a word had been written. We got an early look at the inspirational, thoroughly researched book and spoke to Wedge about it.
How did you decide to present the bombings?
Casey and I made the decision at the beginning that we didn’t want to tell a story about the tragic side of what happened. We wanted to tell the story of the heroism of the day and the stories of the survivors and the families of these people who died—the really inspirational stories. We wanted to tell the story about the good that has come out of this, and not just the sad side of it.
How’s the movie coming along?
We’ve put together a really world-class team, and everyone seems committed to telling the story the right way, not in a sensationalized Hollywood way. They want to tell an inspirational story about what happened to some of the characters that we were fortunate enough to meet and spend time with.
What are the bombings’ lasting impact on Boston—and the sport of running?
As you saw in 2014, runners are resilient people; it was the biggest marathon ever. It let people know that it’s OK, and we’re gonna move on from what happened. And a lot of these survivors and victims’ relatives who weren’t runners before, some of them ran the marathon and are planning to run again this year in 2015.
So are you a runner now?
No, I’m actually a hockey player, but I went to Boston College, which is at the top of Heartbreak Hill, and have watched the race pretty much every year since I was a teenager.