Last Tuesday afternoon, the weather in Copley Square was as nice as weather can get in New England: sunny, dry, warm enough for shirtsleeves. So people filled the square: strolling, window-shopping, eating outdoors, sunning themselves on the grassy sward next to the impromptu memorial to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. Many others visited the memorial. The sense of resumed normality in a space so recently filled with devastation could itself be seen as a kind of memorial — one looking to the present and future, as a traditional memorial looks to the past.
The nice weather wasn’t supposed to last, as anyone caught in Wednesday’s noontime downpour would learn. So that morning five city archivists had removed certain fragile items from the memorial to be preserved in the city’s archives in West Roxbury.