The third anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings Friday was marked by solemn remembrance of the dead and wounded, alongside a celebration of the city’s resilient spirit that reverberated from Copley Square to Dorchester’s Peabody Square.
Mayor Martin J. Walsh led the city’s official observances, joining Governor Charlie Baker to lay wreaths at the bombing sites near the finish line on Boylston Street, and offering a moment of silence on City Hall Plaza to mark the moment the first bomb went off three years ago.
Church bells tolled in the distance as the city paused in silence at 2:49 p.m.
“God of all human endeavors,” the Rev. Joseph White, pastor of St. Joseph’s Church in Boston, said beforea crowd of more than 100 people, standing outside City Hall. “Hear the prayers of families who grieve. Hear the prayers of families and those who move forward in grace.”
The family of Lingzi Lu, who was killed in the bombings, traveled from China to attend the observance.
Her parents, Jun Lyu and Ling Meng. presented a check for $10,000 to the Boston Police Athletic League from money donated to a foundation honoring Lu, who was 23 and a graduate student at Boston University.
The attacks also killed 8-year-old Martin Richard and 29-year-old Krystle Campbell, and injured more than 260 others. MIT Police Officer Sean Collier was killed by the bombers several days later as they tried to flee the area. The attacks and the hunt for the suspects rocked the region and raised the specter of terrorism returning to American soil.
In Copley Square, former governor Deval Patrick paused while speaking at an interfaith service at the Old South Church to honor the moment of silence.
“The silence we just observed, punctuated only by the distant tolling of that bell, spoke louder and more eloquently than anything I could possibly say here,” Patrick said to the gathering of more than 100 people “Sometimes we need just such silence.”
Outside the church, the Massachusetts Resiliency Center laid out cards for the people to write messages of hope to send to victims of terrorism in other cities including San Bernardino, Paris, and Brussels.
“The idea is to celebrate hope,” said Alyssa Fuller, an advocate at the center.
Seeking to cast the day in a new light, Walsh last month officially designated April 15 as One Boston Day, a day to encourage people to perform acts of kindness.
“There’s a great feeling in the city today,” Walsh said shortly before noon, as he arrived at a community policing event in the Back Bay. “When you think about what happened three years ago today, and you think about what’s come of it, there is so much hope and inspiration.’’
A community cleanup of Peabody Square in Dorchester Friday afternoon honored Martin Richard, who grew up in the neighborhood.
Armed with shovels, rakes, and clippers, volunteers, along with the Richard family, cleared weeds and spread fresh mulch on Dorchester Avenuetraffic islands.
Martin’s brother, Henry Richard, 14, worked with friends while their sister, 9-year-old Jane Richard, who lost a leg in the bombing, shoveled dirt next to her father, Bill. The children’s mother, Denise, stood at a table covered with bracelets and pins honoring Martin.
Deirdre Manning said Martin is deeply missed in his neighborhood.
“He was a really happy, fun kid,” said Manning, as shecrouched to cut weeds. “He was always outside, riding his bike, yelling for his brother, Henry.”
In the morning, Bill Richard came together with Lu’s father, Jun Lyu, to place a wreath in front of the now-closed Forum restaurant, where the first bomb exploded.
Jane Richard stood nearby, comforted by her mother, Denise, along with Henry. Lu’s mother, Ling Meng, also participated.
A multicolored banner bearing a peace sign, a heart, and words Martin had composed before his death — “no more hurting people . . . peace” — hung outside the shuttered restaurant.
Another wreath was laid by Baker outside the Marathon Sports store, where the second bomb exploded. He was joined by Campbell’s father, William. A sole Boston police bagpiper played and no one spoke during the brief event, witnessed by a few hundred people.
Also on hand were Carlos Arredondo, who became famous from iconic photos that showed him in a cowboy hat helping the injured, and Thomas Grilk, executive director of the Boston Athletic Association, which will hold the 120th Boston Marathon on Monday.
Aggie Flaherty, 44, of Dorchester, who suffered a shrapnel injury to her leg as she stood watching the race at the finish line three years ago, was on hand for the wreath-laying ceremony.
“I just wanted to be here for the families” of those who died, Flaherty said.
Her brother-in-law, Chris Tarpey of Dorchester, who was also injured in the bombings, is running this year’s Marathon in memory of his 23-year-old daughter, Elizabeth. She died in a hiking accident in Hawaii two months after the bombings.
His wife, Mary Tarpey, choked back tears after watching Baker lay the second memorial wreath.
“It was a hard year,” she said.
Her sister, Rosemary McMullin, 50, also of Dorchester, said she can’t forget the sight of blood covering the sidewalk on Boylston Street.
“It took me a while before I could even walk down this street,” she said, glancing toward the finish line.
Has time helped to heal her pain?
“Not really,” McMullin said, shaking her head. “Not yet.”