Wednesday 28 January 2015

Boston Marathon bombing: America pays tribute to victims one year on

Joe Biden, the US vice-president, will lead moment of silence at the marathon finishing line in the heart of Boston

Raf Sanchez and Philip Sherwell, in Boston

Published 15/04/2014 | 08:51

Boston will on Tuesday mark the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing, which killed three people, injured hundreds and cast a cloud of violence over one of the country's most iconic sporting events.

Joe Biden, the US vice-president, will lead Boston in remembrance at a memorial ceremony close to the race's finishing line on Boylston Street in the heart of the city.

At 2.49pm, the time the two pressure bombs detonated on April 15 last year, Boston will fall silent in a moment of respect. President Barack Obama will observe the same moment of silence from the White House.

The tribute will mark a year of recovery for both Boston and the hundreds of people maimed and wounded in the hail of shrapnel that tore through the crowd of onlookers.

While many families were caught in the blast, none suffered more than the Richard family. Eight-year-old Martin Richard was killed by the explosion, while his younger sister, Jane, lost her left leg.

martin-richard-bos_2882486c.jpg

The New York Times photographer Josh Haner's image of Jeff Bauman is shown in this picture provided by the New York Times, which was part of his Pulitzer prize winning entry for feature photography announced by Columbia University in New York on April 14, 2014
The New York Times photographer Josh Haner's image of Jeff Bauman is shown in this picture provided by the New York Times, which was part of his Pulitzer prize winning entry for feature photography announced by Columbia University in New York on April 14, 2014
Visitors look at artefacts in a public exhibition of objects and mementos left at the makeshift memorials that emerged in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon Bombings in Boston, Massachusetts, April 7, 2014. REUTERS/Dominick Reuter
A law enforcement bomb technician is helped to put on his protective suit, before he set off a controlled detonation of a suspicious object during a search for a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing, in Watertown, Massachusetts in this April 19, 2013 file photo. Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15, 2013, when two Chechen brothers allegedly planted pressure-cooker bombs near the race's finish line, killing three people and wounded more than 260. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
An aerial image shows the police searching a boat during the manhunt in Watertown, Massachusetts in this April 19, 2013 file photo courtesy of the Massachusetts State Police. Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15, 2013, when two Chechen brothers allegedly planted pressure-cooker bombs near the race's finish line, killing three people and wounded more than 260
Law enforcement evidence technicians are seen behind a U.S. flag placed at a memorial for the victims as they continue to search the scene of the Boston Marathon bombings for evidence in Boston, Massachusetts in this April 20, 2013 file photo. Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15, 2013, when two Chechen brothers allegedly planted pressure-cooker bombs near the race's finish line, killing three people and wounded more than 260. REUTERS/Jim Bourg
A woman is comforted by a man near a triage tent set up for the Boston Marathon after explosions went off at the 117th Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts in this April 15, 2013 file photo. Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15, 2013, when two Chechen brothers allegedly planted pressure-cooker bombs near the race's finish line, killing three people and wounded more than 260. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi
A runner is escorted from the scene after explosions went off at the 117th Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts in this April 15, 2013 file photo. Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15, 2013, when two Chechen brothers allegedly planted pressure-cooker bombs near the race's finish line, killing three people and wounded more than 260. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi
David Chorney and Mike Burnstein (R) train for the Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts, April 3, 2014. Last year, officials stopped the race after two pressure cooker bombs exploded near the finish line, killing three people and injuring more than 260. Along with tens of thousands of runners and hundreds of thousands of spectators, this year's event will feature an enhanced police presence
A woman walks her dog past Forum restaurtant on Boylston Street in Boston, Massachusetts, April 14, 2014. Last year one of two bombs exploded at this site in an attack on the Boston Marathon. REUTERS/Dominick Reuter
A cyclist crosses the newly laid official Boston Marathon finish line on Boylston Street in Boston, Massachusetts, April 14, 2014. Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15, 2013, when two Chechen brothers allegedly planted pressure-cooker bombs near the race's finish line, killing three people and wounded more than 260. REUTERS/Dominick Reuter
In this photo, part of New York Times photographer Josh Haner's Pulitzer Prize-winning portfolio provided by The New York Times, Jeff Bauman, who lost his lower legs in the Boston Marathon bombings, rests between occupational therapy sessions at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston, May 8, 2013
A peace sign is seen on a message tree as visitors look at artefacts in a public exhibition of objects and mementos left at the makeshift memorials that emerged in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon Bombings in Boston, Massachusetts, April 7, 2014. REUTERS/Dominick Reuter
Visitors write notes to add to the message trees in a public exhibition of objects and mementos left at the makeshift memorials that emerged in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon Bombings in Boston, Massachusetts, April 7, 2014. REUTERS/Dominick Reuter
A member of the SWAT team motions to a resident to come out of the house as they conduct a house to house search for Dzhokar Tsarnaev, the one remaining suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing, in Watertown, Massachusetts in this April 19, 2013 file photo.
Officials take crime scene photos a day after two explosions hit the Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts in this April 16, 2013 file photo. Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15, 2013, when two Chechen brothers allegedly planted pressure-cooker bombs near the race's finish line, killing three people and wounded more than 260. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
Runners continue to run towards the finish line of the Boston Marathon as an explosion erupts near the finish line of the race in this April 15, 2013 file photo exclusively licensed to Reuters by photographer Dan Lampariello after he took the photo in Boston, Massachusetts. Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15, 2013, when two Chechen brothers allegedly planted pressure-cooker bombs near the race's finish line, killing three people and wounded more than 260. REUTERS/Dan Lampariello
Flowers lie on the sidewalk at the site of the first explosion as people walk along Boylston Street after the street reopened to the public for the first time since the Boston Marathon bombings in Boston, Massachusetts in this April 24, 2013 file photo. Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15, 2013, when two Chechen brothers allegedly planted pressure-cooker bombs near the race's finish line, killing three people and wounded more than 260. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi
A Boston Marathon bombing survivor receives a hug next to the site of the first bomb explosion on Boylston Street in Boston, Massachusetts in this April 24, 2013 file photo. Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15, 2013, when two Chechen brothers allegedly planted pressure-cooker bombs near the race's finish line, killing three people and wounded more than 260. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Blood in seen on the sidewalk in front of a candy store advertising a Marathon Monday sale a day after two explosions at the Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts in this April 16, 2013 file photo.Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15, 2013, when two Chechen brothers allegedly planted pressure-cooker bombs near the race's finish line, killing three people and wounded more than 260. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi
Workers lay down the official Boston Marathon finish line on Boylston Street in Boston, Massachusetts, April 14, 2014. Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15, 2013, when two Chechen brothers allegedly planted pressure-cooker bombs near the race's finish line, killing three people and wounded more than 260. REUTERS/Dominick Reuter

Martin Richard

 Their mother, Denise, was left blind in one eye while their father, Bill, needed two operations to repair ear drums burst by the blast. Only their eldest, 11-year-old Henry, escaped physically unscarred.

"A day doesn't pass when we don't cry over the loss of Martin, but we also laugh when we think about him, which feels like the right way to remember a little boy with a zest for life and a caring heart," the family said in a statement.

But the Richards also noted that Jane, now eight, was walking on an advanced prosthetic "Cheetah" leg, sometimes used by Paralympic athletes.

"Never self-conscious and always smiling, Jane has worn it to school several times which speaks to the can-do spirit she has displayed over the last 11 months," the family said.

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Martin Richard, bottom right, was with his family watching the marathon.
Only his brother Henry escaped physically unscarred

Next Monday, the Boston Marathon will return to the city for the 118th time and up to a million spectators are expected to cheer runners along the punishing 26-mile route.

More than 5,000 runners were unable to finish the race last year and many will return next week to complete the run.

Among them will be Peter Holton, 60, an accountant from Derby, who was just half a mile from the finish when the bombs exploded. "I am coming back to show support and pay tribute to the people of Boston," he said.

Both today's ceremony and the Marathon itself will take place under heavy security and this morning SWAT police patrolled the streets around the finish line.

"There's always the question of could something happen again," said David Sapers, whose Boylston Street sweet shop, Sugar Heaven, will be partially occupied by Secret Service agents during Mr Biden's visit. "But we want to get on and celebrate the Marathon and all the good things that come with it."

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Memorials for Martin Richard, Lingzi Lu and Krystle Campbell near the
finish line of the Boston Marathon (AP)

 Mr Biden will be joined at the memorial ceremony by Deval Patrick, the governor of Massachusetts, and Marty Walsh, the new mayor of Boston.

None of the men are expected to mention the name Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving of the two bombing suspects who is being held in solitary confinement thirty miles outside the city, awaiting a trial due to begin in November.

Earlier this year, prosecutors announced they would seek the death penalty for the 20-year-old Chechen refugee who became an American citizen, calling his alleged crimes a "betrayal of the United States".

In his brief court appearances, Tsarnaev has shown no remorse and provocatively blew kisses in the courtroom as he pleaded not guilty to murder and terrorism charges.

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