Boston marks bombing anniversary with somber ceremonies

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SC Featured: Boston Strong Part 1

BY SCOTT MALONE

BOSTON Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:44am EDT

(Reuters) - Boston began its memorials of last year's marathon bombing attack, which killed three people and injured 264, on a quiet note Tuesday, with Mayor Martin Walsh and Cardinal Sean O'Malley visiting wreaths left at the spots where the two bombs went off.

Accompanied by an honor guard of local police, a group of dignitaries that also included Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and the family of the youngest victim, eight-year-old Martin Richard, stopped twice along Boylston Street near the race's finish line.

They embraced and spoke softly as bagpipes played, but made no public remarks ahead of a memorial where U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is due to speak.

After the memorial, which also will feature musical performances, the city will observe a moment of silence at 2:49 p.m. EDT, the time the first bomb went off.

The April 15, 2013 blasts tore through the crowded finish line of the world renowned race, injuring spectators, volunteers and athletes, in the worst mass-casualty attack on U.S. soil since the September 11, 2011 attacks that killed 3,000 people.

This year's race, set for April 21, will take place in an environment of heightened security with the 36,000 runners and tens of thousands of expected spectators facing new restrictions, including bans on carrying backpacks into the race corridor.

Federal prosecutors say that a pair of ethnic Chechen brothers, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, carried their homemade pressure-cooker bombs to the finish line in backpacks.

The bombs killed Martin Richard, Krystle Campbell, 29, and Chinese national Lu Lingzi, 23.

Three days after the attack, the FBI released pictures of the suspected bombers and requested the public's help in finding them. That prompted the Tsarnaev brothers to attempt a hasty flight from Boston, which began with them shooting dead Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer Sean Collier, prosecutors said, in an unsuccessful attempt to steal his gun.

That prompted a police chase that ended in a gun battle in the Boston suburb of Watertown. Tamerlan, 26, was killed and Dzhokhar, now 20, escaped before being captured on April 19.

The brother is awaiting trial on charges that carry the possibility of execution if he is convicted.

(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Grant McCool and James Dalgleish)

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Boston marks bombing anniversary with somber ceremonies
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: (L-R) Denise Richard, Bill Richard, Jane Richard and Henry Richard, the family of Martin Richard, an eight-year-old boy killed from a bomb at the Boston marathon, attend a wreath laying ceremony 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. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: Massachusetts state and local police and fire department members stand near the site of one of the bombs following a wreath-laying 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)
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)
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)
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)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: Massachusetts state and local police and fire department members present flags during a wreath-laying 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)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: Melissa Howard, from Wakefield, Massachusetts, pauses during a wreath laying ceremony 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. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: (L-R) Denise Richard, Bill Richard, Jane Richard and Henry Richard, the family of Martin Richard, an eight-year-old boy killed from a bomb at the Boston marathon, attend a wreath laying ceremony 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. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: A woman cries during a wreath laying ceremony 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. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: Flowers lie on the finish line of the Boston Marathon 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. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: A runner speaks to Boston police officers at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on the morning of 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)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: A runner runs underneath the Boston Marathon finish line photo bridge on the morning of 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)
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