The first anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings will occur at 2:49 p.m. EDT Tuesday and Bostonians will mark the moment and the day with somber ceremonies.
Survivors, first responders, and political leaders, including Vice President Joe Biden, are scheduled to appear at a noon tribute to those affected by the tragedy, in which three people died and 260 people were injured. Afterward, there will be a flag-raising ceremony at the finish line and a moment of silence in the city at precisely 2:49.
Boston and the country have been preparing for this moment for a long time. Runners who participated in a monthlong, coast-to-coast relay to raise money for a charity aiding bombing victims arrived Sunday evening in Boston. Their One Run for Boston began March 16 in Santa Monica, Calif., and raised $425,000 to help those directly affected by the bombings.
On Saturday, Sports Illustrated held an open photo shoot for Bostonians, with the image planned for this week’s cover.
For 260 athletes, the last year has been marked by small triumphs over the tragedy. Jeff Bauman, who lost his legs, writes today on TheGuardian.com of the moment his life changed, a moment made even more surreal by the viral “Wheelchair Photo” of him being wheeled from the scene. A year later, Bauman has a message for readers of his Guardian post:
The story the Wheelchair Photo tells is this: two losers set off bombs, but hundreds of people risked their lives to rush to our aid. The people with me in that picture – Carlos Arrendondo, Devin Wang and Paul Mitchell – aren’t the bad guys. They are the heroes. They are saving my life.
If people talk about the photo this year, I hope they remember that. I hope they remember that the man in the wheelchair, the one without the legs: he lived. He has a fiancée and a baby on the way; he’s learning to walk again; he’s going to be okay.
On Monday, there will be another Boston Marathon, one that, with heightened security, is expected to draw 36,000 runners and as many as a million spectators along the 26.2-mile route.