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

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Nation pauses with Boston, pays solemn tribute to marathon bombing anniversary
A Boston police officer pauses on the finish line during a tribute in honor of the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings, Tuesday, April 15, 2014 in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
From right, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, and former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, react along with the family of Boston Marathon bombing victim Martin Richard, behind, during a remembrance ceremony at the finish line on Boylston Street in Boston, Tuesday, April 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, center, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, third from right, and Vice President Joe Biden, right, salute along with the family of Boston Marathon bombing victim Martin Richard, behind, during a remembrance ceremony at the finish line on Boylston Street in Boston, Tuesday, April 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
BOSTON - APRIL 15: Front row, from second left, former Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Vice President Joe Biden, and Gov. Deval Patrick observe a moment of silence during a tribute to the Boston Marathon bombing victims and survivors on April 15, 2014, the one year anniversary of the tragedy. The family of Martin Richard stands behind. A flag-raising and moment of silence followed a ceremony at Hynes Convention Center marking a year since the bombings. On April 15, 2013, two homemade explosive devices killed three and injured more than 250 near the finish line of the race. (Photo by David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: Sharon Neary, of Rochester, New York, cries while watching a billboard television screen broadcasting the ceremony commemorating the one year anniversary of the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing , on April 15, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. Last year, two pressure cooker bombs killed three and injured an estimated 264 others during the Boston marathon, on April 15, 2013. Neary says she was standing near the site of the bombing before it went off. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
BOSTON - APRIL 15: Honor Guard members line up in front of the Forum Restaurant, one of the two bombing sites in Copley Square, where a wreath laying ceremony was held to commemorate the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing in Boston, April 15, 2014. One year ago, April 15, 2013, two homemade explosive devices killed three and injured more than 250 near the finish line of the race. (Photo by Wendy Maeda/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Police on bikes cycle across the Boston Marathon finish line prior to a remembrance ceremony for family members and survivors of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing on Boylston Street in Boston, Tuesday, April 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
A runner passes as Boston Police honors change their post outside the Marathon Sports store, the site of the first of two bombs that exploded near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon, Tuesday, April 15, 2014 in Boston. Three were killed and more than 260 injured in last year's explosions near the finish line of the race. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
People photograph a banner reading "Boston Strong" as it hangs at Rowes Wharf on the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings, Tuesday, April 15, 2014, in Boston. (AP Photo/Bill Sikes)
Heather McDade, of Boston, right, reacts while watching a tribute ceremony with others on an over-sized outdoor monitor, Monday, April 14, 2014, on Boylston Street, in Boston. The ceremony is being held for those killed and injured in the bombings at the finish line of the Boston Marathon a year ago. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
People photograph a banner reading "Boston Strong" hanging at Rowes Wharf on the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings on Tuesday, April 15, 2014, in Boston. (AP Photo/Bill Sikes)
A law enforcement official patrols the area with a dog near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, Tuesday, April 15, 2014, in Boston. Vice President Joe Biden is expected to be among the dignitaries Tuesday during ceremonies to honor victims, and the first responders, doctors and nurses who helped them, following the April 15, 2013, bombings, during a tribute at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: Officers stand guard next to a wreath marking the one of the bombing sites on the one year anniversary of the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing, on April 15, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. Last year, two pressure cooker bombs killed three and injured an estimated 264 others during the Boston marathon, on April 15, 2013. Neary says she was standing near the site of the bombing before it went off. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: Members of the Boston Police Department practice marching prior to a wreath laying ceremony to commemorate the one year anniversary of the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing, on April 15, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. Last year, two pressure cooker bombs killed three and injured an estimated 264 others during the Boston marathon, on April 15, 2013. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Security personnel walk across the Boston Marathon finish line prior to a remembrance ceremony for family members and survivors of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, on Boylston Street in Boston, Tuesday, April 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: (L-R) Former Boston mayor Thomas Menino, mayor Marty Walsh, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, Governor Deval Patrick, and Tom Grilk, Executive Director, Boston Athletic Association stand together with members of the victims families during the flag raising ceremony commemorating the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings on Boylston Street near the finish line on April 15, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. Last year, two pressure cooker bombs killed three and injured an estimated 264 others during the Boston marathon, on April 15, 2013. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
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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."
BOSTON BOMB

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.


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