Boston Strong: A City Reflects One Year after the Marathon Bombing

Many people in and around Boston are using this year’s running of the Boston Marathon to reflect on the Marathon Bombing and the events in its wake.  While there was immeasurable loss when the bombs exploded, the anniversary also calls us to celebrate the many good things that came from a tragic situation.  Here are some of the events and stories you might want to check out:

On campus

(sources and text excerpted from BU Today article)


Monday, April 14

  • Memorial Service for Lu Lingzi.  Marsh Chapel will host a memorial service for Lu Lingzi (GRS’13), one of three people killed in the Marathon bombings.   The memorial service will be held at 7 p.m. at Marsh Chapel, 735 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston.

Tuesday, April 15

  • BU Medical Campus Flash Mob: Healing Boston with Music. Everyone is invited to gather at noon at Talbot Green to perform the Secret Garden song “You Raise Me Up,” made popular by recording star Josh Groban.  The BU Medical Campus Flash Mob, free and open to the public, is at noon on the Medical Campus Talbot Green.  The BU Medical Campus Flash Mob, free and open to the public, is at noon on the Medical Campus Talbot Green.

Monday, April 21

  • Marathon Monday Prayer Service and Brunch.  Marsh Chapel will host a special 30-minute interdenominational prayer service Marathon Monday in remembrance of those lost and injured in last year’s bombings. A complimentary buffet brunch follows on Marsh Plaza and the BU Beach, followed by a trip to Kenmore Square to watch the final mile of the race. (In the event of rain, the brunch will be held in the lower level of Marsh Chapel.)  The Marathon Monday Prayer Service and Brunch begins at 10 a.m. at Marsh Chapel, 735 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, and is free and open to the public.

Off campus

(Some sources and text from BU Today Article)


Tuesday, April 15

  •  “26.2: Beyond the Finish Line” with Tom Ashbrook, John F. Kennedy Library.  Join Tom Ashbrook for a live broadcast at the John F. Kennedy Library  to remember, to reflect, and to look ahead. Tom will be on stage for “26.2: Beyond the Finish Line,” along with special guests Jill Lepore, Jonathan Katz, James Carroll, Eileen McNamara, Kevin Cullen, Regie Gibson, Farah Pandith and more. This free event will also feature live musical tributes from Bill Janovitz, Patty Larkin, Amanda Palmer and more.  Registration is required. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and live broadcast will begin at 7 p.m. at the John F. Kennedy Library, Columbia Point, Boston.
  • One Year Later: Remembrance and Hope, Old South Church.  On the first year anniversary of the Marathon tragedies, we gather to honor the memories of those whose lives were taken, recall all brave responders, encourage those still struggling to recover, and bless athletes who will run in 2014. Join for music, prayers, readings, and reflection.  Old South Church will ring our great tower bell on April 15th at 2:52 pm.  Begins at 7 p.m. at Old South Church, 645 Boylston St., Boston. At the corner of Dartmouth and Boylston Streets at the Copley T stop. 

Thursday, April 17

  • Aftermath: Remembering the Boston Marathon Bombings Lecture, Newton Free Library.  Watertown-based photographer Joshua Touster will give an illustrated lecture titled Aftermath: Remembering the Boston Marathon Bombings. Mr. Touster will share his stunning post-Marathon bombing images, and his personal and professional remembrances of the days following the bombings, the capture of the bombing suspect, and Boston and Watertown’s continuing response to the tragedy.  This lecture will be held at the 7 p.m. at the Newton Free Library, 330 Homer Street, Newton.

Saturday, April 19

  •  To Boston with Love Community Day, Museum of Fine Arts.   The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, opens its doors for a free day welcoming families from Boston and beyond, as well as runners and spectators from around the world, to enjoy a day of art and fellowship at the Museum.  Visitors can sign and decorate a special panel for the America 4 Boston Prayer Canvas—a national art project offering a way for people to rally together after the Boston Marathon events of 2013—that will be unveiled at the Boston Red Sox game on Sunday, April 20. To Boston with Love Community Day will be held at the Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston at 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. By public transportation, take a Green Line E trolley or 39 bus to the Museum of Fine Arts stop or an Orange Line train or bus routes 8, 47, or C2 to the Ruggles stop.
  • Light the Fire of Peace: Interfaith Prayer Vigil, Trinity Church.  Three faith traditions will gather in vigil on the steps of Trinity Church in Copley Square to pray, sing, and light a fire for peace as our city prepares for a Boston Marathon renewed by hope. Hosted by Trinity Church in partnership with Back Bay Clergy, Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, Old South Church, and Temple Israel. Senior Minister Rev. Nancy S. Taylor of Old South Church will speak.   The Interfaith Prayer Vigil will begin at 7 p.m. outside of Trinity Church in Copley Square.

Ongoing Exhibitions

  • Dear Boston: Messages from the Marathon Memorial, Boston Public Library. Following last year’s Marathon, a makeshift memorial quickly arose in front of Trinity Church in Copley Square. In June 2013, when the memorial was dismantled, thousands of objects were transferred to the Boston City Archives for preservation. A selection of these items is now on display in the monthlong exhibition Dear Boston: Messages from the Marathon Memorial at the Boston Public Library in Copley Square. The Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St., Copley Square, Boston, is open Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m. The exhibition is free and open to the public through May 11. By public transportation, take an MBTA Green Line trolley to Copley Square.
  • To Boston with Love, Museum of Fine Arts.  In the aftermath of the bombings, quilters from every state and all corners of the globe created hand-sewn flags with messages of inspiration and hope.  Now, 1,700 of those flags are on display in the Museum of Fine Arts Shapiro Courtyard through April 30. It coincides with the MFA’s latest exhibition, Quilts and Color: The Pilgrim/Roy Collection.  To Boston with Love is on display at the Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston, through April 30; hours are Monday, Tuesday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., and Wednesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 9:45 p.m. Admission is free for students with a valid BU ID.  The museum is free to the public on Wednesday evenings and on Saturday, April 19, which has been declared To Boston with Love Community Day. 
  •  Bled for Boston, Boston Center for Adult Education.  As a way of honoring first responders and victims of the tragedy, Boston Center for Adult Education instructor Chris Padgett photographed the many people who got Boston-themed tattoos.  Bled for Boston is on display at the Boston Center for Adult Education, 122 Arlington St., Boston, through April 30. The BCAE is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the exhibition is free and open to the public. 
  • Boston Strong? Art Exhibition, Community Church of Boston.  Three local artists – Darrell Ann Gane-McCalla, Shea Justice, and Jason Pramas – will be holding an art show called Boston Strong?  The purpose of the show is to spark public discussion and debate about the meaning of the popular “Boston Strong” slogan. The artists contend that there is a disparity between media coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing victims, many of whom are white and live outside Boston, and media coverage of the victims of ongoing criminal assaults around Boston, many of whom are people of color and live in the city.  On display from Tuesday, April 15 – Tuesday, April 22.  For more information, see the event on Facebook:
  • Boston Strong at the USS Constitution Museum.  Show your support for the men and women who responded to the Boston Marathon bombing by writing a “thank you” letter at the USS Constitution Museum throughout the month of April. The Museum will distribute the letters to local area police and medical personnel. The Museum will also be featuring a panel describing the impact of the bombings on USS Constitution and her captain who was at mile 20 when news broke of the attack at the finish line.  You can visit the USS Constitution Museum , Charlestown Navy Yard, Charlestown from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.


  • Dear World.  Photographer Robert  X. Fogarty, captured images of marathon survivors, first responders and supporters at the Boston Marathon finish line. He compiled their photographs and stories into a beautiful project called, “Dear World.”

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