The Washington Post

Boston Marathon Bombing: A ceremony of respect and hope at hospital that treated wounded

Boston Marathon bombing anniversary ceremony, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston. (Lenny Bernstein/Washington Post)
Boston Marathon bombing anniversary ceremony, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston. (Lenny Bernstein/Washington Post)

BOSTON -- At Brigham and Women's Hospital, which treated 39 of the wounded from the Boston Marathon bombing, a brief flag-raising ceremony Tuesday kicked off a day of tributes throughout this city to victims, first responders and others affected by the attack.

Officials raised an American flag and a "Hope and Healing" flag to half-staff--the height ordered by the governor--to commemorate the day one year ago when two bombs concealed in pressure cookers went off near the marathon finish line, killing three people and injuring more than 260.

"Every year on April 15, we will raise this flag as a sign of our respect," said Elizabeth G. Nabel, the hospital's chief executive officer. Employees laid daffodils--which Nabel called "a sign of rebirth"--at the foot of the flagpole.

Traditionally, the marathon itself is one of the first signs of spring after a long New England winter. This year, the April 21 footrace is preceded by Tuesday's day of tribute, which will include a large ceremony in the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center at noon and many smaller gatherings around the area.

Inside the hospital, a "hope and healing wall" contains dozens of messages from hospital patients and staff. Jarrod Clowery, a spectator from Stoneham, Mass who was severely injured in the attack and treated at the hospital, posted what has become a slogan for him: "One second of pure evil followed by endless seconds of good."

Clowery, part of a group of friends from Stoneham, Mass., who were injured by the second bomb, has started a foundation with part of the charity money he received for his injuries.

Lenny Bernstein covers health and medicine. He started as an editor on the Post’s National Desk in 2000 and has worked in Metro and Sports.
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