Quiet and brief, families and friends of those killed in the Boston Marathon terror bombings, gathered on Boylston Street, where the first blast took place one year ago.
At 2:49 p.m., a moment of silence was held at the marathon finish line, to mark the time and place where two bombs exploded last April 15. The bombs killed four and injured over 260 people. About 2,500 people moved out of the Hynes Convention Center to mourn the loss of their loved ones in the rain and bowed their heads, silently.
Boston and its surroundings braced for an emotional week that begins Tuesday with a large ceremony honoring the victims, first responders, medical personnel and others affected by the attack.
Earlier Tuesday, President Obama observed the ceremony at the White House and delivered a statement saying, “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.”
Vice President Joe Biden attended the ceremony, he concluded, to loud applause, “We are Boston. We are America. We respond. We endure. We overcome. And we own the finish line.”
President Obama also said, “A year ago, tragedy struck at the 117th Boston Marathon. Four innocent people were killed that week, and hundreds more were wounded. Today, we remember Krystle Campbell, Lingzi Lu, Martin Richard, and Sean Collier. And we send our thoughts and prayers to those still struggling to recover.”
Among the four victims, Lingzi Lu, a 23 years old Chinese graduate student at Boston University.
It was she who made Chinese people feel they were connected with people across the Ocean at that tragic moment. Tuesday, people in China paid solemn tributes to Lingzi Lu online–especially on Weibo. The last message she shared on her Weibo timeline was her healthy breakfast on the day of the terror blasts. Among the 30,000 comments, a person with Weibo ID “Time Never Gets Back” leaves comments like “good morning” and “good evening” for Lingzi Lu almost everyday. Though they cannot attend the Boston Marathon Ceremony, people are trying to remember this bright girl through their own way online. Lingzi Lu’s parents attended the mourning ceremony in Boston and participated in events of a foundation named after their daughter several days ago.
The 118th Boston Marathon will take place on April 21, 2014. Security will be at an all time high for the sports event. Authorities have announced extensive security plans for this year’s marathon, which is expected to bring in $176 million for the Boston area’s economy. The police department also said about 3,500 policemen will be on duty to secure the marathon.
“Next week, we will run again,” said Tom Grilk, executive director of the Boston Athletic Association. “But on this day, in this place, in remembrance and resolve, we gather as citizens of Boston, Boston strong.”