On the one-month anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings, the scene for much of today at the site of the first explosion could have passed as a Boylston Street tableau on any typical weekday.
Business people and tourists, students and residents, strolled or hurried past the place where a shrapnel-filled pressure cooker created carnage only steps from the finish line. Few stopped at the spot, and few hints of its significance could be found there.
Then, at 2:50 p.m., the time when two homemade bombs detonated here April 15, a remembrance graced the sidewalk. Three dancers from the Paulist Center, a Catholic organization on Park Street, used the emotive language of movement to acknowledge the area’s lingering grief while also reclaiming the space.
“We wanted to offer a blessing at the spot,” said Christine Monterio, director of dance at the Paulist Center. “It’s a very natural response for all of us.”
Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino had spoken earlier in the day about the city’s resilience in the wake of the attacks.“I think the city went in strong, came out strong,” Menino said before an appearance in the Fenway Fens. “I think the city has reacted in the proper manner over the past month or so. I had dinner the other night for 130 of the survivors and it gave me strength to be with those families and individuals.”
The two powerful explosions killed three people and wounded more than 260 others. One suspect is dead after a confrontation with police several days after the attacks; another is in custody, facing federal charges. The suspects are also accused of slaying an MIT police officer.
Boston police wore a black band on their badges for a month in memory of the bombings. It’s traditional for them to wear such bands for a fallen fellow officer and take them off after a month. They removed the black bands today at 2:50 p.m. The department’s flags were also raised from half-staff at that moment.
The Boston Athletic Association, which organizes the Marathon, said on its website, “Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims affected, especially the four families who lost loved ones, as well as those who remain in the hospital or who are in rehabilitation.”
“We would like to thank all of the first responders, medical staffers, volunteers, and local, state, and federal authorities for handling a very difficult situation so bravely,” the statement said.