EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

May 23, 2013

Town Meeting honors Marathon runners, rescuers, police officers

By Paul Tennant

---- — NORTH ANDOVER — This year’s Town Meeting paid tribute to North Andover residents who ran in the Boston Marathon last month, as well as doctors, nurses and other medical professionals who treated victims of the bombing and law enforcement officers who pursued the terrorists.

Before calling the meeting to order, Moderator Mark DiSalvo asked them to come up on the stage to receive recognition. Besides two or three dozen people, the honorees included two canines. Laura Biermann, a nurse, was accompanied by Indiana Jones, a trained therapy dog.

After the bombing, Biermann and Indy visited and comforted some of the victims.

Also on the stage were Julie, who works for the North Andover Police Department, and her handler, Officer William Brush.

Bernie Zelitch was among the many runners on the stage. A veteran of 19 Boston Marathons, Zelitch crossed the finish line in 4 hours, 9 seconds — a mere second after the first blast.

“I saw it (the explosion),” he said.

Zelitch, 62, called the tribute organized by DiSalvo “very nice.” He said he expects to run the Marathon next year. As DiSalvo said in his remarks, the terrorists failed to defeat the spirits of the runners and those who helped the victims of the attack.