(Courtesy Sports Illustrated)
(Courtesy Sports Illustrated)

Over the weekend, Sports Illustrated put out an open casting call for the image that would grace its cover on the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings and the result was stunning.

“3,000 Strong” is the cover caption’s estimate of the number of Bostonians who turned out at the marathon finish line on Boyleston Street for an image that includes Mayor Marty Walsh, first responders, runners, kids and other citizens.

The issue, on newsstands Wednesday, also includes a piece from David Ortiz, the Red Sox slugger who, with colorful language, helped rally the city last spring.

“One thing that has happened isn’t unbelievable to me though: the way people in Boston and around the country came together in such a dark time. On the day of the bombing I can’t say I knew how the city would react,” Ortiz’s essay says. “I had never thought about how we’d handle something like that because I never dreamed we’d have to. But when I saw how people helped one another and stayed positive, I wasn’t surprised. I’ve seen so many great things since coming to this country from the Dominican Republic, and one of them is how strong we can be in tough times. I will never forget that. Seeing Boston regroup the way it has over the last 12 months has been awesome.”