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

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

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April 23rd, 2013
06:47 PM ET

Boston reclaims Boylston Street, shop workers get ready to re-open

Boston is slowly inching back to normal today, as business owners - some who witnessed incredible horrors - reclaimed their shops and cleaned the streets. The Lenox Hotel has served as something of a command post for investigators at the crime scene.

"We've had guests with badges and guns, which is not customarily our normal guest," said managing director Dan Donahue. The Lenox opened its doors for the first time late Tuesday afternoon, after being closed since the Boston Marathon bombing attack last Monday.

"We're a 113-year-old hotel, it was the first time we didn't have guests on Monday night, it was surreal," said Donahue.

The Lenox is a family-owned hotel, owned by third generation Bostonians, said Donahue.

Lost revenue was secondary to the task at hand, he added.

The hotel ended up caring for "400-500 people a day, feeding them each meal," said Donahue. When workers came to the hotel the day after the bomb attack, it was filled with first responders.

"We quickly realized these people needed a place to shower, and a place to have a meal, so we just took over, without having any conversation with authorities," said Donahue.

Donahue had a special front row seat to the investigation, watching policemen try to crack the crime.

"Watching those first responders come in and deal with the task at hand, and just taking care of the business, and making sure they caught these guys was phenomenal, they didn't stop," said Donahue.

The first time Donahue had ever met an FBI agent was Monday night, after the bombing attacks.

"I have a new found respect for somebody who carries the badge," said the hotel director.

The suspects "intent was to take our spirit away, and fortunately for Boston it did the opposite, it gave us more spirit," said Donahue.

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