Tributes Mark One Year Since Boston Marathon Bombings
Update 5 p.m.: Read our full story on this afternoon's tribute from reporter Asma Khalid.
Update 4 p.m.: Two more photos: First, the AP captures the flag-raising at the finish line:
Second, our Jesse Costa captures the moment of silence, at 2:49 p.m.:
See more photos here.
Update 3 p.m.: The crowd is now dispersing along Boylston Street, many in attendance making their way across that famous Boston Marathon finish line. Wreaths placed at the site of each blast — outside Marathon Sports and Forum Restaurant — are expected to remain throughout the day, watched over by members of local police honor guard.
Update 2:53 p.m.: Bells of a nearby church rang over Boylston Street and an American flag was raised over the finish line as the National Anthem was sung.
Update 2:50 p.m.: The victims' families and public officials, joined by survivors and first responders, lined up across Boylston Street to observe a moment of silence at 2:49 p.m., the moment when the first bomb exploded one year ago today.
Update 2:42 p.m.: Most have made their way from the Hynes Convention Center to the finish line, where there will be a flag raising ceremony followed by a moment of silence.
Update 2:30 p.m.: This image from inside the Hynes Convention Center earlier this afternoon shows Renese King performing with the Boston Pops:
Update 2:00 p.m.: Many are stopping by the Boston Marathon finish line today to pay their respects.
See more photos here.
Update 1:55 p.m.: The indoor portion of the tribute closed with a performance of "Let There Be Peace on Earth," by the Boston Children's Chorus and the Boston Pops.
The tribute will pick up at the Boston Marathon finish line around 2:30 p.m., where there will be a short ceremony and a moment of silence at 2:49 p.m., the time of the first blast.
Update 1:50 p.m.: In closing, Vice President Biden says, "Next Monday, on Patriot's Day, when 36,000 people line up to start the marathon, you will send a resounding message around the world ... that we will never yield, we will never cower, American will never stand down. We are Boston, we are America. We respond, we endure, we overcome, and we own the finish line."
Update 1:44 p.m.: Of first responders, Vice President Biden says, "It's not just what they do, it's who they are."
Update 1:42 p.m.: Vice President Joe Biden opened his remarks by expressing awe at those survivors who spoke during today's tribute.
"To those survivors, my God, you have survived and you have soared," Biden said. "Just to hear each of you speak, you are truly, truly inspiring. I've never heard anything as beautiful as what all of you just said."
"No memorial, no words, no acts can fully provide the solace that your hearts and souls still yearn to acquire," he added. "But I hope it eases your grief a little bit."
Biden said all of the survivors, those who could be at today's event and those who couldn't, are
"living proof that America can never be defeated. So much has been taken from you, but you have never given up."
Update 1:28 p.m.: Gov. Deval Patrick said in the days and weeks after the bombing last year, he was reminded of "how few degrees of separation there are between us."
"We are not strangers. We are all connected — to each other, to events beyond our control, to a common destiny," Gov. Patrick said. "We share the same fears, the same hopes, the same community."
"I hope that as we remember the dead and the injured, we remember community," he added.
Update 1:25 p.m.: Boston Mayor Martin Walsh says that for the the victims' families and the survivors, perseverance "is what life is all about now."
"We will never be the same, but we are stronger than ever," Walsh said. "We have been tested and tested again, but we face these hurts with a new understanding of our strength."
Walsh took a moment to mention the Richard family, who are from Dorchester, where Walsh himself grew up and still lives. He told the crowd Jane Richard, who lost a leg in the bombing, was playing basketball again, and that Martin, her brother who was killed by the blasts, would have loved that. "The way he saw the world, anything was possible," Walsh said.
"We can believe — as Martin, Krystle, Lingzi and Sean did — we can believe that anything is possible. And then we work our hearts out to prove it. This is Boston after all," Walsh said.
Update 1:12 p.m.: Adrianne Haslet Davis, a dancer, lost her left leg in the bombing. She took a moment to say thanks to her fellow survivors.
"Our survivor community is not something any of us has chosen to be a part of," she said. "But there are many moments we could have not made it through if not for one another."
"I have also learned that it's OK to not be OK. We still have to let ourselves grieve," she added. "Yet it is that Boston Strong attitude that gets us back out, and when we can't find the strength to do it ourselves, we have those around us to lift us back up."
Update 1:06 p.m.: David Yepez, of Andover, was standing near the second blast. He was 15 at the time and suffered a torn ear drum, burns and shrapnel injuries to his legs. He and his father, Luis, offered a heartfelt thank you to first responders, city and state officials, and the the survivor community.
Update 1:01 p.m.: Patrick Downes and his wife, Jessica Kensky, both lost a leg in the bombing.
"[Boston Strong] is the firefighter running toward danger and the police officer ensuring our safety, but it's also the quiet moments, individual snapshots of grace," Downes told the crowd. "It's the countless hours our families spent by our bedsides ... It is the movers volunteering to move the newly disabled to a new home ... It is the passerby who sees a prosthetic leg and nods in solidarity and strength."
"We hope you feel all the emotion we feel when we say thank you," he said.
Update 12:52 p.m.: Former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino took the stage to a standing ovation.
"This day will always be hard. It will never be easy to gather so close to that finish line." But, Menino added, it eases the pain a little bit to shake the hands of those who helped save lives.
"I want you to hear this solemn promise," he added. "When lights dim and the cameras go away, 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 by your side."
Update 12:45 p.m.: The Boston Athletic Association's executive director, Tom Grilk, took a moment to thank first responders, members of the medical community and marathon volunteers.
"The very fabric of this community was tested to its core. That community didn't just endure, it inspired," Grilk said.
"Next week, we will run again," Grilk added. "But on this day, in remembrance and resolve, we gather as citizens of Boston, Boston Strong."
Update 12:35 p.m.: Members of the Boston Children's Chorus are now performing Patty Griffin's "Up to the Mountain."
Update 12:32 p.m. Rev. Liz Walker, of the Roxbury Presbyterian Church, led the opening remarks.
"We are reminded of the amazing capacity of the human spirit to rise in heroism, compassion and sacrifice," Rev. Walker said. "A year has passed so quickly, and many wounds are yet to heal, but the city we love has grown stronger."
She also took a moment to remember those killed — Krystle Campbell, Lu Lingzi, Martin Richard, and Sean Collier.
Update 12:24 p.m. The ceremony has begun with a performance of "Hymn to New England" by the Boston Pops, led by conductor Keith Lockhart.
Next, the Pops and Renese King will perform "America the Beautiful."
Update 11:55 p.m.: Here's a shot from inside the Hynes Convention Center ahead of the ceremony:
Update 11:50 a.m.: The tribute ceremony at the Hynes Convention Center is set to get underway at 12 p.m. WBUR's Alex Ashlock is inside and you can follow his updates via Twitter:
It's an event for remembrance and healing, says Carlos Arredondo. He helped save Jeff Bauman on 4-15-13
— Alex Ashlock (@aashlock) April 15, 2014
You can also follow WBUR's Deborah Becker and Jack Lepiarz, who are both down on Boylston Street.
We will add a live video stream of the ceremony to this post shortly.
Update 10:58 a.m.: WBUR's Jack Lepiarz will be down on Boylston Street all day. He sent this photo from the firehouse at Boylston and Hereford, which lost two firefighters last month. Many here were among the first responders to last year's bombing.
You can follow Jack's updates on Twitter.
Update 10:48: Marking the anniversary of the bombings, President Obama said in a statement today that the "the most vivid images from that day were not of smoke and chaos, but of compassion, kindness and strength."
"One year later, we also stand in awe of the men and women who continue to inspire us – learning to stand, walk, dance and run again. With each new step our country is moved by the resilience of a community and a city. And when the sun rises over Boylston Street next Monday – Patriot’s Day – hundreds of thousands will come together to show the world the meaning of Boston Strong as a city chooses to run again."
Read his full statement here.
Update 10:40 a.m.: This morning, Gov. Deval Patrick spoke with NPR's David Greene, who asked him what images stick out to him most about the way citizens responded:
"When the race first ended, people miles back didn't know. And there were folks who came out of their homes along the routes and took runners in, and cooled them down and gave them drink, and ultimately helped them find their family members who were miles back, waiting for them to finish.
"The other thing that sticks with me is I met people in the hospital who it turns out I knew from other settings, including the Richard family, whose 8-year-old son Martin perished. And they reminded me that at 2 years old, they have a picture of Martin holding a campaign sign in my first campaign for governor. And there are just so many ways in which it was exposed that we were much, much more intimately connected to each other than we may have appreciated."
Listen to the full interview here.
Update 10:30 a.m.: Earlier this morning, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and Gov. Deval Patrick joined the families of those killed for a brief wreath laying ceremony at the site of each blast. Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley led the ceremony.
Our Original Post Continues:
BOSTON — The community will gather along Boylston Street in Boston Tuesday afternoon to honor those affected by last year’s deadly bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
April 15 marks one year since two explosions left three dead and more than 260 injured, marring one of the city's most-loved traditions and plunging the region into a chaotic, week-long search for the suspects, during which a MIT police officer was also killed.
Survivors and first responders will be joined by Vice President Joe Biden, Gov. Deval Patrick, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and former Mayor Thomas Menino at a 12 p.m. tribute ceremony at the Hynes Convention Center.
Following the service, a moment of silence will be held at the finish line at 2:49 p.m., the moment the first bomb exploded.
From there, the city and race organizers must turn their attention to Monday, when a million spectators are expected to line the 26.2 mile course from Hopkinton to Boston to cheer on the second-largest field of runners in the race's 118-year history.
WBUR's live coverage of the tribute ceremony will begin on air and online at noon. Check back to this post for a livestream and live updates as the event gets underway.
This article was originally published on April 15, 2014.