Tributes planned as Marathon bombing anniversary nears

As the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings approaches, groups in the Boston area are planning events to remember victims, talk about the fallout, and raise money for survivors.

On Saturday morning, people in a crowd assembled at the finish line threw their arms up and cheered as Gregory Heisler stood on a lift, 15 feet in the air, and took a photo for the cover of Sports Illustrated, which will be on the stands Wednesday. Magazine staff estimated that about 3,000 people were there.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh was on hand, along with Police Commissioner William Evans, first responders, volunteers, and area residents who were not near the finish line when two bombs exploded last year, killing three people and injuring more than 260.


“Once I got here and saw the sheer number of people — it literally was something you can’t describe,” said Brad Smith, director of photography for Sports Illustrated. “I almost started crying. It was tremendous.”

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Carlos Arredondo, who ran to help the injured moments after the explosions, was there in his cowboy hat, smiling for pictures with friends and admirers.

“It’s very important to support and cheer with the rest of the crowd here,” Arredondo said.

In the afternoon Saturday, about 25 people with the group Harvard Better Together: Students for Interfaith Action walked from The Memorial Church in Harvard Yard to the bombing site, then gathered at Trinity Church in Copley Square to talk and reflect.

“[The goal was] to have conversations about how to, as students from Greater Boston, think about issues of religion and violence, immigration, and how do we respond to events like these in a way that builds relationships,” said Usra Ghazi, a first-year master’s degree student at Harvard Divinity School and outreach coordinator for Harvard Better Together.


Bostonians have planned an array of memorial events ahead of the one-year anniversary Tuesday.


At 11 a.m., in Boston University’s Marsh Chapel, seven people running in honor of BU graduate student Lingzi Lu, who was killed in the bombings, will be blessed.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., visitors to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum can make Tibetan prayer flags to be hung in Boston to commemorate the bombings.

At 2 p.m., the Barbara Cassidy Band will play songs with a theme of “Healing, hope, and moving on” in the Newton Free Library.

At 3 p.m., The Hawthorne String Quartet will perform Mozart and Previn and writer Richard Hoffman will read a few poems at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum in Columbia Point. Attendees can register online or call 617-514-1643.


From 5 to 9 p.m., Carrie Nation Restaurant, 11 Beacon St., will hold a fund-raiser for Team MR8 and the Martin W. Richard Charitable Foundation, an organization honoring the youngest person killed in the bombings.


At 7 p.m., Boston University’s Chinese Students and Scholars Association will hold a memorial service for Lu at the university’s Marsh Chapel.


At noon on the anniversary of the bombings, Vice President Joe Biden, Governor Deval Patrick, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh and former mayor Thomas M. Menino will attend a tribute at the Hynes Convention Center at noon. There will then be a flag-raising ceremony and a moment of silence at the finish line at 2:30 p.m. Because of the tribute, the Copley MBTA Station will be closed from noon to 3 p.m. Green Line trains will roll straight from the Hynes Convention Center to Arlington Station.

Gal Tziperman Lotan can be reached at