A steady rain showered down on Boston throughout most of today’s tributes marking the anniversary of last year’s Marathon bombings.
Former Mayor Tom Menino was joined by Vice President Joe Biden and Governor Deval Patrick at an event held near the finish line where the blasts occurred. Speaking to a crowd of survivors, first responders and family members of those killed, Menino said:
"We will never forget what this day means to you… this place will always be strong… a city we love with all our hearts.”
Vice President Biden also spoke, telling those present how the citizens of Boston made an entire nation proud in the wake of tragedy.
"You have become the face of America’s resolve. We are Boston. We are America. We respond, we endure, we overcome, and we own the finish line.”
Two wreaths were placed at the spot of the bombings along Boylston Street. At 2:49pm, a moment of silence was recognized at the exact moment the first bomb was detonated.
President Obama also reportedly observed a moment of silence from The White House.
Earlier in the day, thousands gathered downtown. Survivor Patrick Downes, who lost his left leg, spoke to the crowd in a touching moment of gratitude, saying:
"We would never wish the devastation and pain we have experienced on any of you. However, we do wish that all of you, at some point in your lives, feel as loved as we have felt this last year. It has been the most humbling experience of our lives. We hope you feel all the emotion we feel when we say 'thank you.’"
Next Monday, the city will once again run the Boston Marathon for the 118th time. It is a tradition that will not soon be ended but will forever be changed by the events of last year.
[Image via AP Images.]
Tags: anniversary, barack obama, boston, ceremony, deval patrick, joe biden, marathon, news, patrick downes, president, running, sad sad, tom menino, tragedy