School handout via EPA
The parents of Martin William Richard, the youngest victim of the Boston Marathon bombings, said their final goodbyes to their 8-year-old son in a private funeral Mass on Tuesday.
In the quiet of the morning, away from the public glare, the parents and other close family mourned young Martin, whom classmates recall as someone who told a mean knock-knock joke, always won at math games, and stuck up for friends at school.
In a popular photograph, Martin was shown holding a sign that read: “No more hurting people. Peace.”
“We laid our son Martin to rest, and now he is at peace,’’ Martin’s parents, Bill and Denise Richard, wrote in a brief statement issued after the service.
The grieving parents expressed their thanks to those who have reached out to them after terrorists killed their son and seriously wounded Denise Richard and Martin’s sister Jane.
Bill Richard, a respected figure in his Dorchester neighborhood, was with his family when the bomb detonated. He survived with shrapnel damage to his legs.
“The outpouring of love and support over the last week has been tremendous,’’ Bill and Denise Richard said in the statement. “This has been the most difficult week of our lives, and we appreciate that our friends and family have given us space to grieve and heal.’’
The family said the service Tuesday was private and celebrated with immediate family. A public memorial service is being planned for a later date, the family said, “to allow friends and loved ones from our community to join us for a celebration of Martin’s life.”
In photos that became public after the April 15 attack, the Richard family can be seen standing near barricades on Boylston Street, close to where one of the bombs was dropped, allegedly by two brothers from Cambridge.
Soon after Martin’s death, the family was engulfed with an outpouring of public prayers, support, and tears. Mourners have left bouquets, balloons, and stuffed animals in tribute to Martin’s memory. More than a thousand people gathered with candles in a playground in Dorchester shortly after Martin died.
On social media, people circulated a photograph of Martin, smiling with one prominent big-boy tooth, holding the peace sign, which became an international emblem of the day’s horror. On Sunday, ministers across this city recalled Martin and the other bombing victims.
Martin’s funeral Tuesday was the final service in a somber week of tributes and goodbyes to those who were killed.
In Stoneham, mourners wept at the private funeral service for MIT police Officer Sean Collier in St. Patrick’s Church. An honor guard from the two police departments where he once worked stood guard over the casket of Collier, a 27-year-old Wilmington resident who was attacked near Kendall Square in Cambridge in what Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis has called a “vicious assassination.”
Hundreds gathered in Medford Monday to recall the life of 29-year-old Krystle Marie Campbell, who grew up in Medford and had lived in Somerville and Arlington. She was buried in Oak Grove Cemetery.
Also on Monday, 600 people paid tribute to 23-year-old Lingzi Lu, a native of Shenyang, China, and a graduate student at Boston University who was recalled as a young woman who worked hard, played the piano, and dreamed of romance and a happy life.
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