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Ceremony announced for Marathon victims

Part of the temporary Boston Marathon memorial in Copley Square in May. David L Ryan/Globe Staff

At 2:49 p.m. this April 15, exactly a year after the bombs exploded on Boylston Street, Governor Deval Patrick and Mayor Martin J. Walsh will gather with hundreds of survivors, first responders, and others to pay tribute to the victims of the Boston Marathon attack.

The ceremony, to be held at the Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center, not far from the site of the bombings, will serve as the official commemoration of the anniversary of the horror near the finish line, officials from the Boston Athletic Association announced Wednesday. It will be organized in conjunction with The One Fund Boston, a charity created last spring to raise money for the victims and their families.


“Though we all had our lives affected in profoundly different ways, this tribute will show the world again that we stand as one,” Patrick said in a statement.

Walsh said the event will focus on “paying tribute to all those affected by last year’s events and once again showing the world that Boston’s spirit of resiliency lives on.”

The anniversary of the bombings falls on the Tuesday before the 118th running of the Boston Marathon, which will take place this year on April 21. By tradition, the world-famous road race is held on the third Monday in April, the Patriots Day holiday.

The ceremony, which will feature speakers representing families of those affected, medical staff who treated victims, police, and others profoundly affected by the bombings, will conclude with a moment of silence. There will then be a flag-raising at the finish line, near where the bombs were detonated.

Commemorations will continue through the weekend, as well as the day of the Marathon.

Officials at the Boston Athletic Association, which organizes the Marathon, said they expect about 2,500 people at the ceremony, which will be held in the main room of the convention center. They said the event will be by invitation only and held with a substantial security presence.


Many of the other details, they said, remain to be worked out, such as who will speak and whether the ceremony will be televised.

“We are humbled to participate in this tribute on behalf of the entire Marathon community,” Tom Grilk, the BAA’s executive director, said in a statement.

“We continue to express our deepest gratitude to all those who courageously reacted to help save lives. And we remain committed to showing our support and encouragement for those that were injured or lost a loved one.”

He added: “What’s clear is that the bravery and tenacity exhibited in the moments following last year’s events are attributes that continue to define our community today. That’s what we seek to honor at this event.”

The 36,000 runners registered for this year’s Marathon will include thousands who were prevented from crossing the finish line as a result of the bombings and hundreds who secured bibs by writing short essays to the BAA about how they were profoundly affected by the attacks.

The race will include about 9,000 more runners than were allowed to register last year.

The race, renowned for the hundreds of thousands of spectators who cheer on the runners, will have a significantly increased security presence, with hundreds of armed military police patrolling the course, more bomb-sniffing dogs, undercover officers, and surveillance cameras, especially near the finish line.


Police have said that at least twice the traditional 500,000 spectators are expected to line the 26.2-mile route from Hopkinton to the Back Bay, many of them motivated to defy the sense of terror created by the attacks last year, which left three people dead and injured more than 260.

Other changes planned for the upcoming Marathon include more barriers along the route to separate runners from the crowds. The FBI will deploy a SWAT team for the first time, and a unit dedicated to recovering evidence from deadly crime scenes and mass disasters, in addition to other specialized teams, such as bomb technicians.

Runners will also be barred from bringing anything more than fanny packs or energy belts to the starting line.

In the past, runners were allowed to bring bags provided by the BAA to Hopkinton, which were left waiting for them near the finish line on the buses they came in on.

This year, runners will have to leave their bags at Boston Common, where police will guard them.

David Abel can be reached at dabel@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @davabel.