Governor Deval Patrick said Friday that authorities will do “everything humanly possible,” to make the July Fourth celebration along the Charles River safe, following revelations that the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings had initially targeted the event.
Speaking to reporters at the graduation ceremony for Northeastern University, Patrick said law enforcement officials would be carefully reviewing security measures for the concert and fireworks display, which draws some 500,000 people to the Charles River Esplanade.
“We’re going to do everything we can, everything humanly possible, to make it as safe as possible,” he said. “It’s very important, at the same time, that people remain vigilant and be on a special level of vigilance in this coming year.”
Authorities Friday expressed confidence that security at the event, particularly since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, has been sound.
But State Police spokesman David Procopio said officials were studying ways to make large public events “even harder targets for someone to attack.”
“The public should be assured that security measures include those that they see—and others that they won’t see,” Procopio said.
Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis said the Boston Marathon bombings will make law enforcement “recommit to do the best that we can to provide the highest level of security possible.”
“We can effectively protect as many people that come into the city just as good as any other city in the world,” said Davis.
Participants in the celebration are hoping that heightened security measures and residual fear from the bombings do not prevent residents from flocking to the Esplanade. A strong showing will be part of the healing process, said Boston Pops Orchestra conductor Keith Lockhart.
“With the tragedy and the difficulties of the month of April behind us and our first large public event since, it’s going to be extra special, extra important that we all come out and celebrate what a great place this is,” he said.Peter Schworm can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globepete. Brian Ballou can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @globeballou.