Boston Marathon tragedy remembered on anniversary
Painful and resilient memories are fresh as the 118th Boston Marathon nears Monday.
Images of first responders clearing the scene and carrying the wounded. The rallying phrase, “Boston Strong.” And the hilly Patriots’ Day race that weaves Greater Boston.
Two bombs shook the Boston Marathon one year ago Tuesday, killing three and injuring more than 260 at the world’s oldest annual marathon.
“On April 15, we recall the courage, compassion, and commitment of our great city and its people,” Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said.
The first bomb exploded near the corner of Boylston Street and Exeter Street at 2:49 p.m., a few hundred feet short of the finish line and more than two hours after the winners crossed. The second bomb exploded 13 seconds later, farther west on Boylston Street, further from the finish line.
Runners completing their 26.2 miles fell to the ground. Windows blew out. Lives and limbs were lost.
Some 3,000 people will gather again near the finish Tuesday during a tribute event. Speakers will represent families of those affected, medical staff who treated patients and Vice President Joe Biden. The ceremony will conclude with a flag-raising ceremony and moment of silence between 2:30 and 3 p.m.
On Monday, the 118th Boston Marathon will include the second-largest field in race history. The group of some 36,000 runners -- 9,000 more than 2013 -- will accommodate about 5,000 who did not have the opportunity to cross the finish line last year. Only the Centennial Boston Marathon in 1996 drew more runners (38,708 entrants).
The first athletes will start at 8:50 a.m. ET. The elite women go off at 9:32, the elite men at 10 and the final wave at 11:25.
It’s estimated more than one million well-wishers may line the route from Hopkinton to Boston, double the usual amount, with 3,500 police officers, more than double last year’s number.
Officials stress a simple theme among the staggering statistics -- to preserve the traditional feel and character of the Boston Marathon.
“Boston again stands as one: paying tribute to all those affected by last year’s events and once again showing the world that Boston’s spirit of resiliency lives on,” Walsh said.