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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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April 16th, 2013
06:29 PM ET

Boston Marathon bombings: The day after

By Jake Tapper and Katie Hinman

Boston (CNN) - The streets are full of marathoners, easy to spot in their yellow and blue. But instead of celebrating their victories, they are wandering the city, unsure of what to do next.

"This is the stuff that happens in Bosnia or Syria. Not the United States," one woman told us.

Boston is a city on edge, like a war zone. The people we found were trying to pick up where yesterday so violently ended. The medals and the possessions of those who didn't finish the race, lined up like sad soldiers.

On one street, empty cups that once contained water for runners litter the roads, left as an ephemeral memorial to the panic felt after the twin blasts. Some of the witnesses came back with their children, one tackling the horrific situation with her kids, telling them that they are safe, and that there are lots of helpers making the city safe.

"Bad things like this happen, but there's many, many other people out there who are - who are making it right," she said.

On another street, medals and the possessions of those who did not finish the race.

"It's eerie," said one man of the scene.

Perhaps the most emotional place in Boston today is one corner of Boylston Street, where wreaths hang from lamp posts, and flowers have begun to pile up. It is part memorial, part crime scene.

"It's very disturbing to see all this debris on the side, and know that, you know, right up there I could have been running down this way and been part of it," said another woman who ran the race Monday. "I'm very grateful I wasn't."

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