News 12 at 6 o' clock/ April 15, 2014
AUGUSTA, Ga.--The Boston Marathon draws people from all across the country, including our area. We were there as Dr. Michael Rogers came back home to Augusta Regional Airport last year. He crossed the finish line just minutes before the bombs went off. Now, he's getting ready to cross the finish line again next week.
The local orthodontist and grandfather of 9 says it's hard to believe it's been a year. "Time just goes by so fast," he says. "It doesn't seem like it's been quite a year."
It's been a year of reflection for Dr. Rogers, who crossed the finish line a year ago.
"I finished about 4:08, and I think the bombs went off just a few minutes after that," he said. "When we looked back, we said could that be a bomb. Then the second one went off and we realized, indeed, it was a bomb."
His wife was watching the race, and for a panicked few moments, they couldn't find each other.
"My wife was supposed to be back at the finish. That was my biggest fear. She didn't know I was ok and I didn't know that she was ok," he said.
After surviving something so terrifying, a lot of friends and family have begged Dr. Rogers not to return to Boston this year.
"I have three daughters and they all have children, and they say, 'Dad don't go back. Why are you going back?"
But, despite their concerns, he'll be trading in his dress shoes for running shoes in just a few days, heading back to Boston's ground zero.
"You never know from one minute to the next what's going to happen in life, and yet, I think too, you have to go back and you have to run again because we can't let the terrorists rule our lives," he said.
He's hoping it will help him, along with thousands of others gain some closure.
"Having seen so many people injured and having gone through the trauma of it, I think that's what a lot of people are saying, that it helps bring closure," he said.
Dr. Rogers leaves for the Boston Marathon Friday. The race is Monday, April 21st.