On April 15, 2013 two bombs detonated at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, ending three lives and forever changing thousands more. Two years later a new Boston tradition began to honor those who were lost, injured or touched by the vicious attacks.
One Boston Day celebrates the strength and resiliency of this city and every one of its inhabitants. Surviving victims, family members, and city officials joined members of the community in laying white and yellow wreaths at the scene of the twin blasts. After the somber remembrance ceremony, One Boston Day continued with community service projects and pledged acts of kindness tracked by an online ticker on the event’s website – as of Sunday evening it had reached 76,985.
A moment of silence was observed at 2:49 P.M., the time that the two blasts went off on Boylston Street. Afterwards, Bill Richard, father of 8-year-old Martin Richard, who died in the bombings, addressed the crowd.
“On One Boston Day, while it’s about having thoughts and reflecting, it’s about moving forward for us as a family and as a community. This day is special and forever will be,” He said. “Some people ask, and a lot of people look at us and they think and they wonder how we do it. It’s the strength of our family, but look to your left, look to your right, look around. This is the reason. This is how we do it. This is how we get by. This is how we move forward.”
Richard joined fellow Bostonians in cleaning the streets of Dorchester after giving blood at one of many One Boston Day blood drives across the city. Other community projects included donation drives, packages for veterans, and restaurants and businesses that donated portions of the day’s profits to charity causes. All in all, more than 30,000 “acts of kindness” were reported by event organizers – not including those pledged via the website!