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Two Abilene women share their Boston lockdown experience

By Kristen Pope, Reporter, kpope@ktxs.com
Published On: Apr 22 2013 08:30:35 PM CDT
ABILENE, Texas -

People affected by the Boston tragedy are trying to get back to normal life, including some Abilene residents now at home.

Three Abilene women were attending a conference in Boston when Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick put the city on lock down. This, after two suspects, one still alive were identified in the Boston Marathon bombing.

Nurses Diana Freeman and Dawn O'Neill went to Boston for the same ambulatory surgery conference they attend every year. This trip they wound up in the middle of a manhunt.

"We decided to go ahead and go because we felt like after it had already happened and it was cleaned up it would be safe to go," said Freeman.

However, on Friday morning they woke up to an announcement that the city was shut down and that the little bit of sightseeing they planned was cancelled.

"In front of our hotel when we realized what had happened there were military policeman in military dress with semi automatic machine guns attached to them," said Freeman.

"It was scary," said O'Neill.  "It was hard not to be stressed about it because you just were unsure about what was going to happen and what was going to take place."

Normally Boston is a bustling city. Especially near it's center Copley place and Boylston street, but they were reduced to a ghost town.

Freeman recounted looking outside her window, "There's nobody there and you look out into the street and there's nobody in the streets of Boston.

O'Neill said there was only one thing on her mind, "Let's go back to boring Abilene."

That frightful day ended with a suspect captured and the ability to go home for both Freeman and O'Neill.

O'Neill said she felt, "Relieved that it was over. Especially for the people of Boston . You know people couldn't go to work. We were of going to be there a short time but those people. It changed their lives."

Both Freeman and O'Neill said this would not stop them from attending future conferences in large cities.