Boston Marathon Bombing: Survivors And Supporters Pay Tribute One Year Later

A stronger community has emerged following the Boston bombing a year ago.

Tributes were paid today by survivors, supporters, and Vice President Joe Biden. A two-hour ceremony took place at Hynes Convention Center, but all around the city people paid their respects, in some form or other, to all those affected by the Boston bombings last year on April 15. On that day, over 260 people were injured and 4 people lost their lives.

Lingzi Lu, Krystle Campbell, and Martin Richard were all killed by the blasts. Martin Richard was only eight. Police officer Sean Collier was killed by the Tsarnaev brothers while they were on the run from authorities.

A wreath-laying ceremony was held this morning at the locations where the bombs went off. Attending were Gov. Deval Patrick, Mayor Martin J. Walsh, and Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley. O’Malley said a prayer for those lost as family members laid wreaths on Boylston Street were loved ones perished.

Around 2,500 people were invited to the Hynes Convention Center where Mayor Thomas Menino acknowledged Boston’s resilience in the face of meaningless violence. As the families listened from the front row, survivors and officials gave heartfelt speeches. Providing music for the ceremony was The Boston Pops Esplanade and the Boston Children’s Chorus, who sang Up to the Mountain.Vice President Joe Biden concluded the ceremony by saying:

We are Boston. We are America. We respond. We endure. We overcome. And we own the finish line.

Rev. Liz Walker of Roxbury Presbyterian Church also spoke at Copley Square during a ceremony. Bells chimed at 2:50 pm, the exact time the bombs went off. Reverend Walker, Boston Athletic Association executive director Tom Grilk, and former Mayor Thomas Menino spoke at the event. Reverend Walker spoke of a rising, and the former mayor said:

When the lights are dim, know that our support and love for you will never waver. Whatever you have to do to recover and carry on, know that the people of Boston and I are right there by your side.

And from the flood of heartache and loss, Boston and its citizens appear to be rising anew; stronger. Since the Boston bombing, the phrase “Boston Strong” has permeated the city of Boston and all of its supporters, especially the runners. And indeed, as the one year anniversary approaches, you can see the results of the tragedy and its annealing process on the people affected. Instead of shying away from the area and the bombing, runners everywhere are flocking to the event. Many who run the marathon every other year, or have not run it at all, are headed to the starting line. And of 36,000 attending, many will be runners who were there last year, giving meaning to another phrase you’ll hear – “Run for Boston.”

Two of the victims of the bombing, Rebekah Gregory and Pete DiMartino, found love in the aftermath of the bombing. Rebekah saying “yes” before Pete could even propose.

But the Boston bombing has left many scars. An article from The New York Times shows pictures of those directly affected by the bombing and how they say they’ve handled the aftermath. Todd Koen says – “If I am with my kids, no matter where we are, I’m thinking: How am I going to get my kids out of the situation?” A feeling of paranoia expressed by more than one person. A generalized doubt that pervades everything when you no longer trust the people in the crowd.

Other people expressed a variety of emotions and methods for dealing with not only mental pain, but the physical pain of lost limbs and head injuries. But the one common pattern expressed by all those seem to be a greater sense of community, a thankfulness for life as an ephemeral gift that needs to be cherished, and a stronger will that can only emerge from despair.

BOSTON (CBS) has compiled a list of charities that support survivors and victims of the Boston Marathon Bombing.

#BostonStrong

#runforboston