Boston marks 3rd anniversary of deadly marathon bombing

By The Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) _ Boston is marking the third anniversary of the deadly 2013 marathon bombings with subdued remembrances.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh joined victims’ families Friday morning for quiet and simple wreath laying ceremony at the marathon finish line on Boylston Street.

Baker, joined by the father of 29-year-old victim Krystle Campbell, bowed his head in silence on Friday morning after laying a white flower wreath at the site of one explosion. Walsh, with the family of 8-year-old victim Martin Richard, placed a wreath at the second blast site.

Dozens of survivors, their families and supporters were in the crowd to observe the occasion, which was followed by a closed breakfast reception in the nearby Boston Public Library.

Scott Weisberg, a 46-year-old Birmingham, Alabama, physician who finished the 2013 marathon seconds before the first bomb detonated, said he comes back each year for the anniversary and to run the race.

He wears hearing aids now because he suffered hearing loss and recently closed his medical practice because he continues to deal with memory loss, forgetfulness and speech processing from head injuries he sustained in the blast.

“This is a special time to connect. I have a second family who understand what I’m going through,” Weisberg said. “The first year a lot of us were just trying to figure things out. I think the the focus now for many of us is where we’re going, what we’re going to do with the second half of our lives.”

Later in the day, Deval Patrick, who had been Massachusetts’ governor at the time of the attacks, is slated to speak at an interfaith service at the Old South Church located at the finish line.

At 2:49 p.m., a citywide moment of silence will mark the time when the first of two pressure cooker bombs detonated near the race’s end, killing three people and injuring over 260 others.

This year’s anniversary represents the first since bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was sentenced to death last June. His brother, Tamerlan, died in a gunfight with police in the days after the attack.

Throughout the day, residents will be taking part in blood drives, food and clothing collections and other community service projects as the city has proclaimed April 15 “One Boston Day,” a day for Bostonians to celebrate the city’s resilience through acts of kindness and generosity.

Martin Richard’s family, for example, will help lead a cleanup of Peabody Square in their Boston neighborhood of Dorchester.

The family of Lingzi Lu, a 23-year-old Boston University graduate student killed in the attack, is making a financial donation to the Police Department’s Athletic League at City Hall.

Walsh’s office is collecting premixed baby formula, baby wipes and hand sanitizer to send to Flint, the Michigan city struggling with lead-tainted drinking water.

And St. Francis House, one of the city’s largest homeless service agencies, is collecting used adult sneakers to benefit needy persons in the Boston-area.

(C) The Associated Press 2016