Eight-year-old Martin Richard, the youngest victim of the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombings, has been immortalized in the form a bronze statue. According to ABC News, a life-size bronze statue of Martin was unveiled at the Bridgewater State University on Saturday morning. The unveiling of the statue comes a few months after the university’s social justice institute was named after Martin. The department is now known as the Martin Richard Institute of Social Justice. Apart from Martin, two other individuals were killed in the act of terrorism that was perpetrated by brothers Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
According to USA Today, the sculpture of Martin is located on a pedestrian greenway that links the university’s east and west campus. It was designed by artist Victoria Guerina and is based on a famous picture of Martin in which he is seen holding a poster that reads “No More Hurting People … Peace.” At an event organized at the university campus on the occasion of the unveiling, Martin’s sister Jane Richard sang with a church youth choir. Jane herself lost a leg in the 2013 Marathon Bombings. Other notable people who attended the event included Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Martin’s father, Bill Richard.
According to Victoria Guerina, the sculptor who made Richard’s statue, it was a challenging task for her to get the statue right. She had to match the image of Richard that shows Richard’s smile. She also had to get the text on the “paper” that Martin was holding in the image right. It took her nearly two years and help from two other artists — Linda Chorney and David Wells Roth — to create the statue.
“We hope that our contribution will help bring some comfort to the family, and that the statue creates an eternal message that is seen around the world because the message is so simple and powerful,” Chorney said.
Talking about Martin’s smile, Guerina reveals,
“It was part of his personality, I had to include it. There was only one picture that (the Richard family) showed me where he wasn’t smiling.”
Another reason for the bronze statue to be unveiled at the Bridgewater State University was the fact that Martin’s parents Bill and Denise Richard met at the same campus before they graduated in 1993.
A press release issued by the university read,
“The Martin Richard Institute for Social Justice is dedicated to the betterment of of others, with many programs dedicated to helping “at-risk and marginalized children.”
Boston Mayor Martin Walsh also spoke on the occasion. He said,
“His spirit is still moving people; it’s inspiring people to be their best. Martin Richard and his family have changed our city and our state for the better.”
(Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images, Martin Richard Foundation)