Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano visited the memorial to the Boston Marathon bombing victims Friday in Copley Square, leaving a bouquet at the site and greeting other people who came to pay their respects.

Napolitano quietly took in many of the items left at the memorial, lingering for a while at a sign left for the youngest victim killed in the explosions, 8-year-old Martin Richard of Dorchester.

The sign read, “Martin Richard, age 8, wise beyond his years, left the world a powerful message. . . . No more hurting people. Peace.”

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The secretary laid the bouquet in the center of the memorial near a display of four crucifixes bearing the names of the dead and a number of stuffed animals.

Jim Wareing, 54, of Dorchester, watched Napolitano place the bouquet at the site. He wore a “Boston Strong” T-shirt.

“I think it was nice for her to come,” said Wareing, who volunteers to help maintain the memorial. “For her to come to pay tribute is just a nice courtesy.”

Wareing and his friend, June Sugarman, another memorial volunteer, said victims and first responders have begun to visit the site. “It’s a very healing process,” said Sugarman, a Back Bay resident.

Napolitano went from the memorial site to a closed-door meeting with first responders inside the Boston Public Library. She did not take questions from reporters.