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Public encouraged to mark 8th anniversary of marathon bombing with acts of kindness on One Boston Day

“Spread kindness however you can.”

The Boston Marathon bombing memorial in 2019. AP Photo/Philip Marcelo

Boston is marking the eighth anniversary of the marathon bombing Thursday with acts of kindness and a moment of silence. 

City officials are urging the public to honor the victims of the act of terrorism by celebrating “the resiliency, generosity, and strength” that was demonstrated by Bostonians and people around the world in response to the bombing on April 15, 2013. 

Since 2015, April 15 has been designated as a day of service and reflection — “One Boston Day.” But because of the coronavirus pandemic, there will be none of the traditional large-scale events and volunteer projects from past years, according to the city. 

Instead, officials are urging residents to celebrate the day by sharing a moment of kindness with loved ones, friends, neighbors, and “fellow Bostonians.”

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“I hope you’ll join us to spread kindness however you can, whether that means donating to a charity responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting a small business in your neighborhood, or checking in on an older neighbor,” Acting Mayor Kim Janey said in a statement. “The positive impact we can achieve together is more important than ever as we ensure that the City of Boston reopens safely and equitably, with recovery and renewal in every neighborhood.”

Janey will hold a moment of silence Thursday outside City Hall at 2:49 p.m., marking the time of the first explosion in 2013.

The explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon claimed the lives of 29-year-old Krystle Campbell, 23-year-old Lingzi Lu, and 8-year-old Martin Richard. The suspects behind the attack later fatally shot MIT police officer Sean Collier. Boston police officer Dennis Simmonds died in 2014 from injuries sustained in a shootout with the suspects in Watertown the year before.

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A memorial to the victims of the bombings was unveiled near the finish line in 2019. According to the mayor’s office, Janey will pay tribute to the victims of the bombings at the memorial just after 12 p.m. Gov. Charlie Baker and Janey will lay a wreath together at the memorial at 5 p.m. 

Janey and the One Boston Day organization are circulating a checklist of acts of kindness residents can practice safely from home, including calling an older Bostonian and offering them assistance, donating to a nonprofit organization, or thanking the front line workers and first responders you know. 

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“This year, as we continue to battle a global public health crisis, the spirit of One Boston Day is more important than ever,” the organization wrote on its website.

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