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In Memoriam, April 15, 2013

Martin William Richard, an eight-year-old boy from the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, who was killed by the second bomb

Lu Lingzi 23, a Chinese national and Boston University graduate student from Shenyang, Liaoning

Krystle Marie Campbell, 29, a restaurant manager from Medford, Massachusetts

On April 18 at about 10:48 pm, Sean A. Collier, 27, an MIT police officer was ambushed in his police car and died from multiple gunshot wounds allegedly from the bombing suspects.

The Boston Bombing Trial Verdict: Dzhohkar Tsarnaev Found Guilty On All 30 Charges, 17 Of Which Call For The Death Penalty

What We Know So Far

  • Dzhokhar​ ​Tsarnaev​ ​has been convicted of all 30 charges for the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombing — the worst domestic terrorism attack since 9/11, killing three people at the scene and injuring 260 others. A fourth person, a police officer, later died in a shootout.
  • A bombing survivor speaking on behalf of the victims said they were “obviously grateful for the outcome today.”
  • The trial now goes into the sentencing phase, where the jury could decide that Tsarnaev will be sentenced to die.
  • Tsarnaev was found guilty of conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction. He’s also been found guilty in the deaths of Krystle Campbell, Officer Sean Collier, Lingzi Liu, and Martin Richard.
  • Defense attorneys during the trial directly said “he did this” and “it was him.” Tsarnaev’s lawyers have been more focused on saving him from the death penalty, mainly by arguing he was under the influence of his older brother, Tamerlan, who died during the attacks.
  • A jury of 7 women and 5 men decided​ ​his​ ​fate.
  • U.S. vs Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is the most high-profile federal terrorism trial in the United States since Timothy McVeigh was tried for the Oklahoma City bombing in 1997.
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“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

I have never seen a city come together in the way that Boston has during this past year. Cowards thought they could break us, but they proved to have greatly underestimated the pride and compassion that links the people of Boston together. We’re a stronger city now. Heroism takes true form in the first responders, civilians, and runners who after running 26.2 miles ran 2 more to donate blood for victims. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of Krystle Campbell, Sean Collier, Lu Lingzi, and Martin Richard. My heart is as heavy today as it was when I stood there and took these pictures last year. I am so proud to call Boston my home today and everyday. One year stronger.

Verdict

The trial is done.  The jury decided.  Death penalty.  

I don’t know how I feel.  

On April 15, 2013, I finished my last marathon.  I turned right on Hereford and then left on Boylston.  I ran down the final straightaway.  I passed the Forum Restaurant.  I passed Marathon Sports.  I crossed the finish line.

When the bombs exploded, I was more than a mile away.  I didn’t even hear them go off.  I found out what happened when I turned on the TV to see who had won the race.  

No one I knew personally was hurt that day.  There were some tense moments when we all tried to find out if our loved ones were ok.  Some of my friends were nearby when the explosions happened and some had close calls.  But they all went home that night. 

That day was surreal.  The week that followed was even more so.  

Today is a hard day.  I wasn’t expecting it to be, but it is.

What I want most is for him to go away.  I want him to be forgotten.  

I want the families of Martin Richard, Krystle Campbell, Lingzi Lu, and Sean Collier to find peace.  I want those who were injured and survived to find peace.  

I want us to remember what happened that day.  I want us to remember those who died.  I want us to remember those who survived. 

But I want him to become nothing.  I want to forget his name.  Because he and his brother don’t deserve to be remembered.  

My fear is that this isn’t over.  That he will have many more days in court.  That the final resolution to this will take many years or even decades.  And that the families and survivors will get dragged through the pain over and over and over again.  

I don’t know what the jury should have done.  I don’t know what would be justice.  To my mind, death penalty vs. life imprisonment is both a win-win and a lose-lose.  Some who were directly impacted want him dead.  Others want him locked away forever.  

I’m glad I don’t have to decide.  

What I do know is that I love Boston.  I love the Boston Marathon.  

And that right now, I don’t know if I am happier or sadder because of the sentence.


Some Thoughts

I’ve been following the news quite a bit since the Boston bombings but have pretty much kept my mouth shut about everything except when talking to my mom.  The thing that is making me most frustrated is the media is focusing on the suspects and not enough on the victims.  The suspects chose to do what they did regardless of them being “brainwashed” or whatever else is being said to defend them.  I hope justice is served to the fullest with the suspect that is still alive.

I could have easily lost a close friend who was close to the second explosion.  I am so glad I learned about this the day after this happened because I would have freaked out.  

Look at how many people were injured and lost limbs.  Look at the three innocent people who died in the explosions.  Look at the MIT officer, Sean Collier, who was killed senselessly.  These poor people did nothing to deserve what they got yet they are pulling through and being heroes behind the scenes.  And let’s not forget the first responders and good samaritans who helped complete strangers who were injured because if it hadn’t been for them there probably would have been more deaths.

What gets me the most is seeing pictures of Krystle Campbell probably because she is the most relatable of all the victims to me.  Those blue eyes and her smile will only be seen in pictures.  She was a beautiful woman who was just there with her best friend to take pictures of her friend’s boyfriend as he crossed the finish line.  Even though I never knew her in some ways I feel like I did.  My heart breaks for her family and friends.  It’s so hard to believe that life can be ripped away so quickly.  

My thoughts and prayers remain with the victims.  I am proud to be a Massachusetts citizen and see our city persevere after such a horrible tragedy.  I wish the best of luck to all of those affected.  

A year ago, tragedy struck at the 117th Boston Marathon. Four innocent people were killed that week, and hundreds more were wounded. Today, we remember Krystle Campbell, Lingzi Lu, Martin Richard, and Sean Collier. And we send our thoughts and prayers to those still struggling to recover. Today, we recognize the incredible courage and leadership of so many Bostonians in the wake of unspeakable tragedy. And we offer our deepest gratitude to the courageous firefighters, police officers, medical professionals, runners and spectators who, in an instant, displayed the spirit Boston was built on - perseverance, freedom and love. One year later, we also stand in awe of the men and women who continue to inspire us - learning to stand, walk, dance and run again. With each new step our country is moved by the resilience of a community and a city. And when the sun rises over Boylston Street next Monday - Patriot’s Day - hundreds of thousands will come together to show the world the meaning of Boston Strong as a city chooses to run again.

By PAIGE SUTHERLAND

Associated Press


BOSTON — After the twin bombings at the Boston Marathon last April, mourners began leaving thousands of items at a makeshift memorial near the finish line to honor the victims of the attacks.

Some left teddy bears, signs and marathon bibs while others draped running sneakers to commemorate the 3 people killed and more than 260 injured during the April 15 attacks. A cross was set up for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer fatally shot three days later amid a search for the bombing suspects.

To mark the anniversary of the bombings, the material will be curated into an exhibit called “Dear Boston: Messages from the Marathon Memorial.” It will be hosted by the Boston Public Library now through May 11.

Among the numerous heartfelt messages left at Copley Square was one from a Sandy Hook mother that reads, “We understand. Sending love and support.” Other notes urged resilience: “Don’t let this stop you. Stay Boston Strong” and “We will run again.”

One colorful sign had more than 10 towns in Massachusetts forming the shape of a heart, saying “Stands with Boston!!!” underneath. And multiple messages of “I love my city” and “Boston Strong” memorabilia were scattered throughout the square.

Messages were sent from across the world, including Israel, South Korea, Turkey and Venezuela.

But the long-term home for these artifacts is still in flux. Until then, any paper tributes will be held in the Boston archives and the other artifacts will be kept in storage.

An online catalog called “Our Marathon” is hosted by Northeastern University and features 18,000 cards addressed to the mayor’s office. Photos of other objects that can’t be scanned will also be included. The city has also lent out a few of the items for exhibits at the Cambridge Public Library, Northeastern University and the mayor’s office.

John McColgan of the City of Boston Archives said collecting and preserving the material was a collaborative effort. Various companies helped by fumigating, gathering and storing the material at no charge, he said.

One volunteer, Kevin Brown, trekked almost two hours from his home in Brockton to the memorial site for a month to help maintain the grounds and protect the memorabilia by sweeping and putting up tarps when it rained.

“Boston needed a place to heal and someone had to do it,” said the 59-year-old Brown, who stayed at the memorial from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. “It just became a piece of me, and I loved to do it.”

Brown, a self-employed carpenter, constructed the cross for the fallen MIT police officer.

“I did all this for the people of Boston,” he said. “I just love this city.”

Rainey Tisdale, an independent curator from Boston, has been in charge of assembling this year’s exhibit and selecting which items to choose.

She said the experience has been emotional.

“Seeing these objects is a pretty intense experience,” Tisdale said. “People poured their hearts out into them.”

Her work isn’t done yet, but she expects the finished exhibit to feature hundreds of items, including 150 pairs of running shoes.

The centerpiece of the memorial will be four white crosses commemorating those killed: 8-year-old Martin Richard; 23-year-old Lu Lingzi, a Boston University graduate student from China; 29-year-old Krystle Campbell, of Arlington; and 26-year-old MIT officer Sean Collier.

“Working with this collection has taught me that while there’s a lot of pain and sadness in this world, there’s also a lot of love and hope,” Tisdale said. “I’m working hard to focus on the love and hope, and come April I hope my fellow Bostonians will do the same.”