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Nation pauses with Boston, pays solemn tribute to marathon bombing anniversary

BOSTON (AP) -- Survivors, first responders and family members of those killed in the Boston Marathon bombing marked the anniversary Tuesday with tributes that combined sorrow over the loss of innocent victims with pride over Boston's resilience in the face of a terror attack.

"This day will always be hard, but this place will always be strong," former Mayor Thomas Menino told an invitation-only audience of about 2,500 people at the Hynes Convention Center, not far from the finish line where three people died and more than 260 others were injured a year ago.

Vice President Joe Biden, who attended the ceremony, said the courage shown by survivors and those who lost loved ones is an inspiration for other Americans dealing with loss and tragedy.

"You have become the face of America's resolve," he said.

Biden also praised the 36,000 runners who plan to run the marathon next week, saying they will send a message to terrorists.

"America will never, ever, ever stand down," he said, to loud applause. He added, "We own the finish line."

In Washington, President Barack Obama was observing the anniversary with a private moment of silence at the White House.

"Today, we recognize the incredible courage and leadership of so many Bostonians in the wake of unspeakable tragedy," Obama said in a statement. "And we offer our deepest gratitude to the courageous firefighters, police officers, medical professionals, runners and spectators who, in an instant, displayed the spirit Boston was built on - perseverance, freedom and love."

Obama said this year's race, scheduled for Monday, will "show the world the meaning of Boston Strong as a city chooses to run again."

Authorities say two brothers - ethnic Chechens who lived in the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan and the Dagestan region of Russia - planned and orchestrated the twin bombings near the marathon finish line on April 15, 2013.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, died following a shootout with police several days after the bombings. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 20, has pleaded not guilty to 30 federal charges and is awaiting a trial in which he faces a possible death sentence. Prosecutors say the brothers also killed MIT police Officer Sean Collier several days after the bombings in an attempt to steal his gun.

Prosecutors have said Dzhokhar Tsarnaev left a hand-scrawled confession condemning U.S. actions in Muslim countries on the inside wall of a boat he was found hiding in following the police shootout.

At the tribute, several survivors of the bombing alluded to their injuries, but focused mainly on the strength they've drawn from fellow survivors, first responders, doctors, nurses and strangers who have offered them support.

"We should never have met this way, be we are so grateful for each other," said Patrick Downes, a newlywed who was injured along with his wife. Each lost a left leg below the knee in the bombings.

Downes described "Boston Strong," the slogan coined after the attack, as a movement that symbolizes the city's determination to recover. He called the people who died "our guardian angels."

"We will carry them in our hearts," he said.

Downes said the city on Monday will "show the world what Boston represents."

He added, "For our guardian angels, let them hear us roar."

Adrianne Haslet-Davis, a ballroom dancer who lost her left leg below the knee and has recently returned to performing on a prosthetic leg, said she's learned over the last year that no milestone is too small to celebrate, including walking into a non-handicapped bathroom stall for the first time and "doing a happy dance."

Gov. Deval Patrick spoke of how the attack has drawn people closer.

"There are no strangers here," he repeated throughout his speech.

Carlos Arredondo, the cowboy hat-wearing spectator who was hailed as a hero for helping the wounded after the bombings, said he came to the tribute ceremony to support survivors and their families.

"You can see how the whole community gathered together to support them and remember," Arredondo said.

After the tributes, many of those in attendance walked in the rain to the finish line for a moment of silence that coincided with the time when the bombs went off. Bells rang and a flag was raised by MBTA police Officer Richard Donohue, who was badly injured during a shootout with the bombing suspects.

Earlier in the day, a wreath-laying ceremony drew the families of the three people killed - Martin Richard, Krystle Campbell and Lu Lingzi - as well as Collier's relatives.


Join the discussion

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boyle1034 April 15 2014 at 7:35 PM

How very sad and yet how triumphant is the human spirit. The marathon will go on as long as America goes on only now will have more runners from China running in the memory of a beautiful young Chinese student who lives on larger then she could have imagined; in our hearts and memories in our tears and still finally in our sense of triumph over evil..as the future will see more Chinese coming to America to pursue their dream and enjoy the marathon in safety!

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jurmik April 16 2014 at 7:26 AM

The 6 babies murdered in Ohio, ceremonies, speeches please.

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ursini55 April 16 2014 at 9:36 AM

Who cares what this Bozo has to say. This is about the people of BOSTON not about a vote pandering putz. This is about the memory of loved ones lost, loved ones survived and a city that took a horrible event and made the best of it through intense support and love. Boston Strong !

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deanlofaro11 April 16 2014 at 8:05 AM

One year ago two cowardly brothers senseless act of violence, that caused death and destruction, in the Boston marathon, has a nation mourning once again. Reflecting back, honoring those whose lives were lost, and those whose heroic deeds helped get those maimed by the blasts help to safety. As the strongest nation on earth the question remains, how many more of these attacks within our borders can we withstand? Its not as if we are still searching for a motive, we are well aware of who is responsible, and why they are carrying out such heinous acts. There is one common thread, the muslim faith. Because we live in a country that expression of ones religious beliefs is one of our most prized freedoms, those who believe their faith is superior invade our country and cause mayhem in hopes we will "see the light." Its high time we send a serious message to those who choose to act violently all in the name of their beliefs.

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1 reply
kcarthey deanlofaro11 April 16 2014 at 8:08 AM

I agree with you but that means those who act violently all in the names of their beliefs be they right or left, religious or non-. And we must do a better job of containing those with mental health needs while at the same time protecting their civil liberties.

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1 reply
kcarthey kcarthey April 16 2014 at 8:11 AM

But I have to ask, wasn't the man in Kansas City who murdered three this past weekend a Christian? Were not those like Eric Rudolph the abortion clinic bomber and Tim McVeigh both Christians? You cannot blame only one faith by any means. There is no common threat of the Muslim Faith when it comes to hatred and terrorism.

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damcloudy April 16 2014 at 9:27 AM


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2 replies
moudsie damcloudy April 16 2014 at 9:37 AM

Ah, a GOPer--if Bushboy had said that--you'd be all over it, wouldn't ya?

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1 reply
carpro33 moudsie April 16 2014 at 9:49 AM

No, not really. He ("W") was a moron, too. All the libtards should love ole "W", he was really quite liberal under a GOP disguise.

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kcarthey damcloudy April 16 2014 at 9:40 AM

What is the full quote? It seems like you guys can never remember a full paragraph be it Speaker Pelosi's comment about ACA, Sec. Clinton's statement about Benghazi and now this. Like the little boy who cried wolf, you have lost all credibility.

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1 reply
jrb359 kcarthey April 16 2014 at 9:50 AM

No you just did. The two democrats you just mentioned are liars!

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jbella90211 April 16 2014 at 8:13 AM

When I think I am having a bad day I will look to these two for courage http://vimeo.com/91235090

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Chucky1 April 16 2014 at 9:23 AM

We live in a nation that will continue to be subjected to hate crimes, random acts of violence and yes, laws that protect the criminals at the expense of its victims. The controls of the states concerning laws geared towards protecting its citizens have been diluted and thwarted by the federal government because of political correctness, special interest groups and the watering down of the amendments of the Constitution of the U.S. Our greatness as a nation lies in our character, integrity and the needs of those laws that serves its citizens in a way that is unbiased, impartial and supportive within reason.

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1 reply
Btinman82 Chucky1 April 16 2014 at 9:47 AM

Its called HUMAN RIGHTS. We don't treat people like dogs just because they commit a crime. WE pride ourselves on out empathy and sympothy. Don't be such a cold hearted right winger. You might find yourself or a family member in a situation some day and hope that they recieve the same emphatic treatment.

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1 reply
Chucky1 Btinman82 April 16 2014 at 10:04 AM

Any act that results in the death of a victim, loss of income and/or maims another is inhuman in every way. Our laws allow considerable leeway that allows facts, etc., to be considered when addressing those issues. And that is a right that every citizen is entitled to. Emphatic an/or being cold hearted does not even enter the picture. Many of the victims, I am sure, would not agree with you.

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njenel April 16 2014 at 8:15 AM

NOW LET US PAY TRIBUTE TO DITZOKOR !! no and's if's or but's just a old fashioned beheading.

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1 reply
Btinman82 njenel April 16 2014 at 9:49 AM

Are you from the 1500's??? We don't do that anymore. We acknowledge HUMAN RIGHTS!

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MARTHA & PERRY April 16 2014 at 8:54 AM

they had to lock down an entire city looking for one man. sounds like the first beta test of martial law.

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1 reply
kcarthey MARTHA & PERRY April 16 2014 at 9:00 AM

A President has imposed marial law on the nation before without a test. Much paranoia this morning?

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MARTHA & PERRY kcarthey April 16 2014 at 9:12 AM

i'm working on my 2nd cup of coffee, waiting for that to kick in.

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BOB April 16 2014 at 7:10 AM

Its amazing how weatherman and politicians can be so wrong and not do thier jobs , but still get to keep thier jobs . We " commoners " would lose our jobs making mistakes so often . Common sense is long gone and the repeated lies now seem to be only thing we are told .

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2 replies
nam2205 BOB April 16 2014 at 7:14 AM

Yes, If your a politician like Biden all you have to do is go to things like this and make believe that you care.

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a1mogreen BOB April 16 2014 at 7:18 AM

What jobs? You have jobs?

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