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Ground Is Broken On Boston Park Named After Martin Richard

Bill Richard, father of Boston Marathon bombing victim Martin Richard, brings his hand to his face while standing next to a painting of Martin at the conclusion of groundbreaking ceremonies for a park named after his late son, Wednesday in Boston. (Steven Senne/AP)
Bill Richard, father of Boston Marathon bombing victim Martin Richard, brings his hand to his face while standing next to a painting of Martin at the conclusion of groundbreaking ceremonies for a park named after his late son, Wednesday in Boston. (Steven Senne/AP)
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The youngest victim of the Boston Marathon bombing was honored Wednesday during a ceremony to break ground on a park to be built in his memory.

The family of 8-year-old Martin Richard joined Democratic Mayor Martin Walsh, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker and a crowd of supporters at a touching ceremony at the park site on the South Boston waterfront.

Martin was among three people killed when two bombs exploded near the marathon finish line on April 15, 2013.

Martin's younger sister, Jane, who lost her left leg in the bombing, said the park will have wheelchair ramps so it's accessible to everyone. She said the park will also have a pirate ship, a bucket swing and an amphitheater.

Jane Richard bows toward the audience after making remarks as her father Bill Richard, left, looks on during groundbreaking ceremonies for a park named after Martin Richard. (Steven Senne/AP)
Jane Richard bows toward the audience after making remarks as her father Bill Richard, left, looks on during groundbreaking ceremonies for a park named after Martin Richard. (Steven Senne/AP)

"I am so happy to be doing this project, and I know Martin is happy that the community is coming together to build something inclusive, which is what Martin was all about," she said.

Bill Richard, the children's father, recalled his son's quick wit, charm and "insistence on fair play." After the bombing, a widely circulated photo showed Martin holding a poster he created the year before with the message "No more hurting people - peace."

"His enduring message of peace that just continues to will people to come together for the common good -- that's why we're here," Bill Richard said.

Bill Richard said the park will be "a place where all kids will have the opportunity to learn together and play together without prejudice."

Baker said the Richard family's message of hope and positivity after their devastating loss is needed after this weekend's violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

"If there were ever a time when we would have a chance to stand here today, this week, and celebrate, that it is right now," Baker said.

The park will be built near the Boston Children's Museum and is expected to open in the fall of 2018.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was convicted and sentenced to death in the bombings. His older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, died several days after the bombings when he was shot during a confrontation with police and run over by his brother during an escape attempt.

With reporting by WBUR's Fred Thys

This article was originally published on August 16, 2017.

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