On Monday afternoon, the last day before the makeshift memorial on Boylston Street was set to be dismantled, local hero Carlos Arredondo was still being thanked for his actions after the bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon finish line. Against the backdrop of baseball caps, running shoes, and stuffed animals, people shook Arredondo’s hand and asked to take photos with the man who vaulted a barricade to help stanch a victim’s bleeding.
On Tuesday, all the mementos were moved to the city archives in West Roxbury for processing and preservation. In a letter to bombing survivors and victims’ families, Mayor Menino said he hoped “the respectful closing of the temporary memorial will help us all look to the future.”
Looking to the future shouldn’t mean forgetting the past, and Menino is right to begin putting together a committee to secure a permanent memorial, which hopefully will incorporate some of the materials from the impromptu site. What happened last April 15 will forever be part of Boston’s memory bank – the explosions, the chaos, the pain, and the bravery. And the city will continue to draw inspiration from the heartfelt messages left at the site, from “Boston Strong” to the unbearably poignant words of 8-year-old bombing victim Martin Richard — “No more hurting people.”