Tampa, Florida -- As passengers left jetBlue's first flight from Boston to Tampa on Tuesday morning, Brian Welch stepped off of the tram and out of a daze.
He wore blue and gold runner's gear, embroidered with "2013" and the logo of the Boston Athletic Association.
Folded into a book, he carried his runner's number from his first Boston Marathon. It sure didn't end up as the sort of souvenir he thought it would be.
"What makes you mad as hell -- you watch this, right? You're watching it all night. Didn't go to sleep. You see it on the plane, with the TVs that they have," Welch said, as he started to get both emotional and angry.
"You see this 8-year-old boy, he's there to watch his dad finish -- you've got little kids there -- 'go daddy go' -- they're sitting there to celebrate peoples' accomplishments."
He caught his breath, as tears almost made their way down his cheeks.
Welch, who lives in Clearwater, said he was near a medical tent not far from the finish line when the twin blasts went off.
"It's like a fireworks show where you hear that concussion sound going off. And so it was obvious something had happened," he said.
"Suddenly, you heard sirens everywhere. You saw what had to be probably FBI agents and all just coming down, Suburban-type cars, lights going. You saw EMS officials, ambulances, everything just quickly all over the place.
"The police, they were not letting anybody -- they were like, 'Get out of here!'
"Some people say, 'Would you go back?' You're darn right I'll go back.
"Man, we are Americans. The city of Boston was nothing but first-class throughout this whole thing. And as Americans, we cannot let people dictate how we will live."
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