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Napolitano visits Copley memorial before meeting with first responders

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano spoke in Moore, Okla., earlier this week.

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Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano spoke in Moore, Okla., earlier this week.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano visited the memorial to the Boston Marathon bombing victims Friday in Copley Square, leaving a bouquet at the site and greeting other people who came to pay their respects.

Napolitano quietly took in many of the items left at the memorial, lingering for a while at a sign left for the youngest victim killed in the explosions, 8-year-old Martin Richard of Dorchester.

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The sign read, “Martin ­Richard, age 8, wise beyond his years, left the world a powerful message. . . . No more hurting people. Peace.”

The secretary laid the bouquet in the center of the memorial near a display of four crucifixes bearing the names of the dead and a number of stuffed animals.

Jim Wareing, 54, of Dorchester, watched Napolitano place the bouquet at the site. He wore a “Boston Strong” T-shirt.

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“I think it was nice for her to come,” said Wareing, who volunteers to help maintain the memorial. “For her to come to pay tribute is just a nice courtesy.”

Wareing and his friend, June Sugarman, another memorial volunteer, said victims and first responders have begun to visit the site. “It’s a very healing process,” said Sugarman, a Back Bay resident.

Napolitano went from the memorial site to a closed-door meeting with first responders inside the Boston Public ­Library. She did not take questions from reporters.

Travis Andersen can be reached at tandersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter@TAGlobe.
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