CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Aug. 31, 2015 – Jeff Bauman, Boston Marathon bombing survivor and national hero, will be the keynote speaker for Patriot Day on Sunday, Sept. 13 at Southeast Missouri State University.
Bauman will speak at 2 p.m. in Academic Hall Auditorium, kicking off Southeast’s 2015-2016 Speakers Series. The title of his address is “Beyond the Finish Line: A Conversation with Jeff Bauman.” The event is free for faculty, staff, students and the public, and no tickets are necessary.
On April 15, 2013, Bauman stood at the finish line of the Boston Marathon eagerly awaiting his girlfriend Erin. As he waited, an ominous looking man dressed in dark clothing appeared. The man who seemed so out of place on such a festive day dropped a black backpack only a few feet from Bauman and moments later, the first of two explosions rocked Boylston Street.
Bauman was gravely injured, losing both of his legs along with other serious injuries. Amongst the smoke and carnage appeared Carlos Arredondo, a peace activist who was at the marathon, who quickly lifted Bauman and got him to an ambulance, saving his life.
Once inside the ambulance, Bauman told the EMTs that he knew who had set off the bomb. Despite being somewhat delirious and in shock, he still remembered the man in dark clothing with whom he’d made eye contact with just minutes before the blast. When Bauman woke up from surgery, FBI agents were outside his door. He started talking, a sketch artist started drawing and soon the FBI had identified the two suspects. Days later their reign of terror over the city of Boston had ended and Bauman went from a normal 27-year-old Costco employee, musician and Boston sports fan, to national hero.
Since that tragic day, Bauman has remained a beacon of hope, strength and resilience and his story is featured in the New York Times Best-Selling Memoir “Stronger” that is currently being adapted for film. A photo of Bauman and Arredondo surfaced that day and is now the most iconic image of the marathon tragedy. He now shares his story with audiences across the country in a presentation that will be sure to uplift and inspire.