Bos­ton marks five years since at­tack


BOS­TON — The bells of Old South Church in Bos­ton rang at 2:49 p.m. to com­mem­o­rate a ci­ty­wide mo­ment of si­lence in honor of Bos­ton Marathon bomb­ing sur­vivors and vic­tims

It was an emo­tional mo­ment in a day filled with ser­vice projects and cer­e­monies to re­mem­ber those im­pacted by the deadly bomb­ings five years ago.

Bos­ton be­gan the an­niver­sary of the at­tacks Sun­day with Mayor Marty Walsh and Gov. Char­lie Baker lay­ing wreaths early in the morn­ing at the spots along down­town Boyl­ston Street where two bombs killed three spec­ta­tors and maimed more than 260 oth­ers April 15, 2013.

Both ad­dressed fam­i­lies and sur­vivors at a pri­vate cer­e­mony in­side the Bos­ton Pub­lic Li­brary.

“On April 15, 2013, our city changed for­ever but over the last five years, we have re­claimed hope. We have re­claimed the fin­ish line and Bos­ton has emerged with a new strength, a re­silience rooted in love,” Walsh said.

Jane and Henry Richard, sib­lings of the youngest vic­tim Martin Richard, and mem­bers of the fam­ily’s foun­da­tion, also spoke.

Henry Richard urged those lis­ten­ing to fol­low Martin’s mes­sage to “choose kind­ness and do more.” The fam­ily’s foun­da­tion was founded in 2014 to con­nect young peo­ple with op­por­tu­ni­ties for vol­un­teerism and com­mu­nity en­gage­ment.

Vic­tim Lu Lingzi’s un­cle, Sher­man Yee, was present at the cer­e­mony and pri­vate gath­er­ing. He said, “The fam­ily has been over­whelmed by love and sup­port from all over the world.’” He called Lingzi an “ex­tra­or­di­nary girl” who rep­re­sented the youth that come to the U.S. from China to study.

“While she didn’t re­al­ize her dreams, as her fam­ily we in­vest in the youths through our foun­da­tion to keep her mem­ory go­ing,” he said.

The bombs also killed 29-year-old Krys­tle Camp­bell, of Ar­ling­ton. Mas­sachusetts In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy po­lice of­fi­cer Sean Col­lier was killed in the line of duty dur­ing a con­fronta­tion with bomber Tamer­lan Tzarneav.

Rox­anne Sim­monds was at com­mem­o­ra­tive cer­e­monies to honor her son, fallen Bos­ton po­lice of­fi­cer Den­nis Sim­monds. Sim­monds suf­fered a head in­jury on April 19, 2013, dur­ing a shootout with Dzhokhar and Tamer­lan Tsar­naev as law en­force­ment closed in on them.

He suf­fered a fa­tal brain aneurysm a year later as­sessed to be the re­sult of his in­juries from the ex­plo­sive de­vice. Rox­anne Sim­monds said “DJ” was “bril­liant and fear­less — he just loved Bos­ton.”

The youngest grad­u­ate of his class at Lasell Col­lege, Den­nis Sim­monds worked in Mat­ta­pan as an of­fi­cer.

“It was im­por­tant for him to be in a com­mu­nity with men and women who look like him,” his mother said. “In­di­vid­u­als of color work­ing hard to make sure their com­mu­ni­ties were safe.” She praised Walsh, say­ing that it was ob­vi­ous how sig­nif­i­cant the vic­tims are to the mayor.

Ar­reen Andrew, of Bos­ton, said she was in the crowd across the stand when the first bomb went off in 2013.

“It was sheer panic,” she re­called. “Just this sense of ‘No, this can’t hap­pen to us.’”

Five years later, while the day is still a re­minder of some painful mem­o­ries, she said it has also be­come a day about the re­la­tion­ships that have since been formed and “re­formed and recre­ated our en­tire com­mu­nity.”

For some, such an an­niver­sary is about plant­ing the seeds of change. Forty-three-year-old Heather Ab­bott of New­port, Rhode Is­land hosted a fundraiser for her foun­da­tion that sup­ports am­putees. Ab­bott was out­side of Fo­rum, a restau­rant by the fin­ish line, when the im­pact of the sec­ond bomb blew her through the en­trance of the build­ing. For­mer New Eng­land Pa­tri­ots line­man Matt Chatham and his wife Erin were in the restau­rant, and car­ried Ab­bott to safety.

Af­ter three surg­eries in four days, Ab­bott’s left leg was am­pu­tated be­low the knee. Her re­cov­ery was long, but in 2014, Ab­bott started her own foun­da­tion to help am­putees with fi­nan­cial dif­fi­cul­ties af­ford pros­thet­ics and ex­pen­sive co-pay­ments.

“I want to make some changes in the world of health in­surance and help them un­der­stand why peo­ple need these de­vices,” said Ab­bott.

Ab­bott says the foun­da­tion has given out 19 pros­thetic de­vices out so far. “They can cost from $15,000 to as much as $100,000,” she said.

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