BOSTON (WWLP) – A day of remembrance and a day of reflection. Exactly one year ago, April 15th, 2013, two bombs exploded near the Boston Marathon finish line, then a few days later, a massive manhunt. Four people were killed and hundreds of others were injured.
Anne Flemming of Boston told 22News, “I made it to Alewife at 3:00. I was coming up. ‘Did something happen?’ I heard there was an explosion. I turned and looked at the MBTA person and she was terrified.”
The rain and strong gusts of wind did not stop people from coming out to the Boston Marathon finish line to participate in the one year anniversary ceremony.
On Tuesday, one year later, from a wreath laying ceremony to a special taping of a National Public Radio show, marathon runners, volunteers and residents spent the One Year Anniversary honoring the victims, the first responders and the City of Boston.
Michael Bower, a marathon runner, said, “We just want to take the Boston Marathon back. It’s a long tradition here in the city, and in Massachusetts. It’s always had a positive meaning for all the residents, and we just want to restore that good positive feeling.”
At 2:47, runners, volunteers and residents held a moment of silence to remember and honor those who were killed and injured when two bombs exploded near the finish line last year.
In 2013, thousands of runners could not finish the race. Many had to stop at Mile 25, just one mile from the finish line, but this year, those runners will return to Boston to run 26.2 miles.
Justin Goujon, a marathon volunteer, said, “I’m going to be there cheering people on. I’m going to be really excited for the people who weren’t able to finish last year. I know the amount of training that goes into finishing a marathon, so just kind of celebrate life, celebrate marathon on Monday.”
Bower told 22News crossing that finish line next Monday will be an incredibly meaningful moment. “I’m running on behalf of One Fund Boston, raising money for them. And definitely will cross that finish line and throw my hand up in the air and say a prayer for the four victims.”
22News talked to one man who’s from Detroit, Michigan. Gary Morgan’s been running the Boston Marathon every year since 2004.
Morgan said he’s looking forward to crossing that finish line again this year. “You know to keep coming back and be running, this is going to be a special year for a lot of people. It just shows how the running community is so strong and thinks that this race is so special.”
This year’s marathon is expected to be one of the biggest in history. About 36,000 people will run. Bethany Cuto, who also lives near the finish line, will be one of those runners.
“A lot of people keep asking me if I’m afraid to run down Boylston Street on Marathon Monday. Of course not. You know, this is where I live. I walk up and down the street several times a day, so to me, its home,” said Cuto.
Tuesday afternoon, Vice President Joe Biden, Governor Deval Patrick and former Mayor Tom Menino spoke at the invitation-only event at the Hynes Convention Center. People who survived the bombing spoke about the pain they endured as well as the difficulties still faced by survivors.
David Yepez, who is now 16, is among those still grappling with severe hearing loss, as well as other injuries. He said all survivors are trying to find their own way to move on.
“Although each of our paths to recovery has been unique and we have all traveled at our own pace, we continue to move forward,” said Yepez.
A wreath-laying ceremony was also held Tuesday morning at the site of the explosions. The ceremony was attended by the families of the three victims killed, Martin Richar, Krystle Campbell and Lu Lingzi; as well as relatives of MIT police Officer Sean Collier, who was killed in the aftermath of the blasts.
President Barack Obama observed the anniversary with a private moment of silence at the White House.
Our special coverage of this years’ Boston Marathon will continue throughout the week, leading up to Marathon Monday, April 21st.
22News will bring you the stories of the heroes who ran towards danger, as well as those who survived the attack and the runners participating in the 118th Boston marathon for the very first time.