What was normally a day of great accomplishment and pride left many American, once again, stunned and wondering how to cope to another tragedy.
All spectators in Boston and around the country could do was watch.
Psychologists said the explosions in at the Boston Marathon Monday could trigger a sort of nationwide PTSD and bring up painful memories of other major tragedies like the Oklahoma City bombing, the bombing at Atlanta's Centennial Olympic Park in 1996 or Sept. 11, 2001.
Dr. Priscilla Dass-Brailsford of the Georgetown University Medical Center said, "It almost feels like we cannot relax, we cannot get comfortable and contented about violence it's so prevalent and that's what is so I think discomforting to most people."
Perhaps one of the most heartbreaking issues in this latest tragedy is that a child is among the dead.
How we can help other children cope with the news depends on their age.
Many experts recommend limiting children's media exposure and reassuring them that these sad events are rare.
The Cleveland Clinic's Dr. Kate Eshleman said, "Kids of all ages take their cues from us as parents as so the more emotional we are about it, the more worried or concerned the kids will likely be."
Social media sites are overflowing with signs the nation is trying to heal.
Candles lit, roses shared and you'll find millions of online tributes and images of love for Boston.
Boston pediatrician Dr. Gwenn O'Keeffe said, "When people don't know what else to do, they tend to sort of put their heart stamp on social media and I think it's a great way for the people who are struggling to go there and realize that they're not alone."
Also, perhaps one of the best ways to cope is to remember, there's something about the nation's worst moments that bring out the best in its people.