Survivors and first responders participated in a one-mile tribute run the weekend before this year’s Boston Marathon.
On April 21, 2014, about 36,000 people gathered in Boston to run in the Boston Marathon. This year’s 26.2 mile race, which is a Patriots’ Day tradition, had the second most people ever to run. Many ran to pay tribute to those who were killed or injured in the tragic events of last year’s marathon.
About a week earlier, on April 15, thousands gathered to memorialize the victims of last year’s Boston Marathon bombings. The bombings had taken place near the marathon’s finish line on Boylston Street. Two bombs had gone off that killed three people and injured more than 260 runners and spectators.
To start off this year’s memorial events, Vice President Joe Biden spoke at the Hynes Convention Center. He said, “You are Boston strong. . . That’s what makes us so proud of this city and this state. . . the whole world witnessed ordinary citizens doing extraordinary things.” Afterwards, bombing survivors, first responders, government leaders, and many spectators walked to the site of the bombings. Together, they watched a flag being raised during a moment of silence, while the bell of the Old South Church was rung. Then, everyone sang the national anthem.
Another way people remembered those affected by the tragedy was by touring the Boston Public Library’s exhibit. It is titled “Dear Boston: Messages from the Marathon Memorial.” It includes items that were left for people injured or killed during last year’s marathon. Among the posters, t-shirts, notes, flowers, and stuffed animals, one kind of item stood out. That was the hundreds of running shoes left at the site. The items were displayed at the library until May 11.
Bostonians take great pride in the way the people of their city handled the tragedy. Runners and spectators sprung to action to help the victims right after the bombings. People who were injured have made amazing strides in their recoveries. Some of those injured even came back to run in this year’s marathon.
At this year’s race, the crowd cheered as American runner Meb Keflezighi crossed the finish line in first place. He is the first American runner to win the race since 1985. Rita Jeptoo of Kenya was the first woman to finish this year. Some runners wore hats or t-shirts that said “Boston Strong,” the slogan that embodies the strength of the city and its people.