BOSTON (CBS) — A year ago the City of Boston was rocked when two bombs went off at the Boston Marathon Finish Line. Since then, dramatic shows of support have brought the city together as we continue to heal. As we reflect on last year’s bombing and how far we’ve come, we turn our thoughts forward to ways we are Boston Strong(er) a year later.
Here are 26 ways, we are Boston Strong(er) a year later:
Other Cities Have Our Back
In the hours and days after the bombings, tributes poured in from across the globe. Cities like New York, Chicago and London told us they had our backs and to “Pray for Boston.” In the months since, the Turin and London marathons paid special tribute to the victims of the bombings, cross-country relays were held and donations poured in from every corner of the globe. We saw what we always knew: Boston matters.
We Didn’t Quit
Though some runners were stopped before they were able to complete the marathon, it didn’t stop them. Others who completed it, wanted to go back and run the last mile again, in honor of those who were injured or killed. They finished the race – one way or another – as a sign to the marathon bombing suspects that they didn’t win. The Boston Athletic Association Director ran the whole marathon one April afternoon. A group of runners from Marathon Sports on Boylston Street took up weekly runs to remember. The bombings may have halted the marathon but it didn’t stop anyone.
Companies Stepped Up
There have been countless stories over the year of companies, many with local roots, joining in the fundraising for the One Fund. Yankee Candle created a special candle, Converse created a Boston Strong shoe, Sam Adams opened its doors to marathon survivors to craft a 26.2 brew and Adidas sold millions of Boston Strong T-shirts to benefit the One Fund.
Our Teams Got Us Through
There’s no denying that Boston is a special sports town. This year, our teams gave us as much passion and support as we give them. Who can forget when Big Papi told a sold-out Fenway, what we were all thinking? Or when the Boston Bruins paid a touching tribute to the victims, one of which was a diehard Bruins fan at just 8 years old?
We Went Back To Boylston Street
When businesses on Boylston were ready to re-open, we were there. Forum Restaurant underwent a complete rehabilitation and held a party in August, four months after the bombing. Then-mayor Tom Menino was spotted dining al fresco at Solas by the end of April. Menino also announced free parking in the Back Bay to get the affected businesses back on their feet and to show people it was safe to return.
One Fund Boston distributed $61 million to victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. A year later, donations continue to pour in from individuals and corporations. Boston Athletic Association alone, donated $250,000. A year later, events continue to be held with proceeds benefiting One Fund Boston.
We Wear Our Hearts On Our Sleeves
Salem photographer Christopher Padgett catalogued the dozens of Boston Strong tattoos people have gotten since the bombing. Beginning in April, Padgett will display portraits of the people who “Bled for Boston” at the Boston Center for Adult Education. With donations generated on the Internet, he is also able to publish those very personal photos in a book, the proceeds of which will benefit Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.
The Richard Family
The family of the youngest victim of the Boston Marathon bombing, Martin Richard, has shown us the face of resilience, the face of Boston Strong. Mother Denise, Martin’s sister Jane and his father Bill were all seriously injured in the marathon. The family continues to undergo rehabilitation and keeps the public informed of each stride. A photograph of little Jane, walking for the first time on her prosthetic leg, went viral as the community continues to rally around the family in their recovery.
We Will Run Again
This year’s Boston Marathon’s field is set at 36,000 runners. After the bombing, the BAA’s 10K race in June and half marathon in the fall were sold out. On the Thursday after the bombing, President Barack Obama visited Boston. He told the people of Boston: “This time next year, on the third Monday in April, the world will return to this great American city to run harder than ever, and cheer even louder for the 118th Boston Marathon.”
The survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing didn’t ask for any of this but they have become household names, a daily inspiration to everyone watching. We applauded when Sydney Corcoran went to senior prom and felt pride when she attended her first day of college. We’ve watched so many of the survivors walk, run, paddleboard, on their new prosthetic leg for the first time. We don’t know how they do it but they do and they show us what Boston Strong truly means.
A peace activist and Red Cross volunteer, Arrendono was at the finish line when the bombs went off. He quickly ran toward the explosions, tending to those who were gravely injured and famously wheeling survivor Jeff Bauman to an ambulance. He is now credited with saving Bauman’s life by applying a tournequet. Although the man in the cowboy hat became famous that day, Arrendondo has had an interesting life. He became an anti-war activist after his 20-year-old eldest son Lance Corporal Alexander Arredondo died in action during the Iraq War in 2004. His second son committed suicide after dealing with depression and drug addiction. Arrendono has kept in touch with many of the Boston Marathon bombing survivors and is committed to spreading the word about taking care of our wounded warriors, home from war.
‘Sports Should Never Be Used As A Battleground’
The champion of the men’s 2013 Boston Marathon returned his winner’s medal to then-mayor Thomas Menino to honor the city and those killed and injured in the bombings near the finish line of one of the world’s top running events.“Sport holds the power to unify and connect people all over the world,” Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia told the crowd through a translator. “Sport should never be used as a battleground.”
Boston Marathon Bombing Memorial
Extensive work is underway to make sure future generations are able to see and feel how Bostonians tried to come to terms with such an awful day in our history.
The city of Boston’s archive facility is filled with items left at the memorial. There is a stuffed animal with a simple note to Martin Richard. It was left by two young girls. A family member of a 9-11 family wrote a heartfelt note expressing their sadness, and their understanding of being victimized in such a large tragedy.
Flash Mob Fun
Patrick Downes, a survivor of the Boston Marathon bombings, thought he was coming to Copley Place to participate in a video with his wife Jessica about her service dog, Rescue. He had no idea what Jessica, who is also a survivor of the bombings, had waiting for him inside. All of a sudden a flash mob erupted. “There has clearly been a lot of sadness over the last 10 months and I don’t think that will go away but there is also a lot of reasons to celebrate,” Patrick said.
Boston Donated Blood
In the days after the bombing, people turned out in force to donate blood to help the victims. The Red Cross received so many donations, they announced that they had all they needed and to check back over the next several months. The Red Cross held and continues to hold, periodic blood drives. A recent drive was hosted by wounded MBTA Transit Office Dic Donohue.
The MBTA Transit Officer was shot during a violent shootout between police and Boston bombing suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Dic Donohue lost nearly all of his blood supply and was close to death. Donohue’s recovery was detailed over social media as Boston held its breath that the bombing and subsequent week hadn’t claimed another life. Donohue is now home and has become one of the many faces of Boston Strong.
After the bombings the hunt was on for the person or persons responsible. The Friday after the bombing, one of the suspects had been killed and his brother had been captured. The night Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured, everyone breathed easier. The streets of Watertown were lined with residents applauding and cheering for all the police department that had descended on Watertown. “We got him. Thank God we got him,” Mayor Tom Menino told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Dan Rea in the minutes after his capture.
We Stand Up For What We Believe In
Trooper Sean Murphy retired from the State Police after he was disciplined for releasing photos he’d taken of marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The photos showed Tsarnaev bloody and surrendering in a Watertown Backyard. Murphy said he released the photos to Boston Magazine without his boss’s permission in response to Rolling Stone’s decision to feature Tsarnaev on its cover. Murphy was disciplined by the State Police and retired months later. He is running the 2014 Boston Marathon on Team MR8, established to benefit the Martin Richard Foundation.
We Support Our First Responders
Boston and several surrounding communities were under lockdown for several hours as police searched for the second Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. During the lockdown, police who serve on the streets day in and day out, tried to make things more comfortable for the residents they served. The tense day of Tsarnaev’s capture had the world glued to Watertown. Despite the severity of the situation, there were some human moments. A SWAT team member was seen high-fiving a small child during a search, another photo showed a local police officer delivering gallons on milk to a family with an infant.
And They Were Honored
Firefighters from 18 Massachusetts communities have been honored for their service by Gov. Deval Patrick and other state officials.The annual firefighter of the year awards honored on-and off-duty firefighters from the Boston, Beverly, Brockton, Cambridge, Lynn, Salem, Stoughton and Massport fire departments who responded to the Boston Marathon bombings and helped in the aftermath. The fire marshal’s award was presented to the Boston, Cambridge and Watertown fire departments and 24 individual firefighters, many of them marathon volunteers, spectators or participants. State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan says the firefighters who responded instinctively used their training to save lives.
We Pay Tribute
The season was just starting for the Red Sox when the bombs went off. Some of those injured in the bombing had been at the matinée game before stopping at the finish line to cheer on the runners. The Red Sox World Series win was just one way the city was restored to life, the culmination of a season the city followed closely because the team had been so instrumental in bringing us back to life. During the World Series Parade, players stopped their duck boats and placed the trophy on the finish line, draped in a 617 jersey and held a moment of silence.
Boycott Of Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone magazine’s decision to put accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on its cover left many people furious, most notably the victims. CVS and Tedeschi’s boycotted the magazine and refused to carry the magazine. Rolling Stone’s editors responded to the outrage in a statement saying the cover story “falls within the traditions of journalism and Rolling Stone’s long-standing commitment to serious and thoughtful coverage of the most important political and cultural issues of our day.”
The survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing have become like family to some of us; we’re all invested in their stories. James “Bim” Costello met Krista D’Agostino, at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, where he transferred after multiple surgeries immediately following the April bombing. It was there, he struck up a conversation with nurse D’Agostino and it wasn’t long until the two were inseparable. In December, the two became engaged while on a trip for marathon survivors in France. Just days before Christmas, Paul Norden also asked his longtime girlfriend to marry him. The Norden brothers and girlfriend Jaqui Webb were among more than 250 people injured in the marathon bombings.
We Saved Each Other
Spectators cheering on their family and friends became heroes that day; called upon to save each other. Countless stories have been told about people ripping off their belts and shirts to use them as tourniquets. When the bombs sent shrapnel and debris flying, we ran toward the blasts. We took care of our own.
A Harvard Business School student offered Bostonians a unique way to vent and express their feelings, and to help Boston heal in the wake of the marathon bombings. Elsa Sze walked around the city with a small dry erase board and a black marker. She invited people on the street to write messages of love and support for Boston. Sze took more than 100 photos of messages that ranged from sadness to love and hope.
We’ll Celebrate Again
The Boston Athletic Association has announced plans for an official tribute event to mark the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombings.“ On April 15, we recall the courage, compassion, and commitment of our great city and its people,” said Mayor Walsh. “Through this event, Boston again stands as one: 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.”