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10 years later, people gather to remember the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing


Today marks 10 years since the Boston Marathon bombings. The attack by the finish line killed three spectators and wounded 281 people. Here's Sharon Brody of member station WBUR.

SHARON BRODY, BYLINE: On a windy April afternoon, Boylston Street in Boston's Back Bay is bustling. Work crews are building temporary bleachers for Monday's Boston Marathon. The sidewalks are full of people, many stopping to snap photos of the marathon finish line. Some others also pause at the marathon bombing memorials to remember the lives lost on April 15, 2013 - 8-year-old Martin Richard, 23-year-old Lingzi Lu and 29-year-old Krystle Campbell.


BRODY: This stretch of Boylston Street is familiar turf to Ed Jacobs, who's walking through the construction zone on his way to lunch. Jacobs is the technical producer of the marathon. He's worked on the race since he was a teenager.

ED JACOBS: Fifty-two marathons, I've been here at the finish line. It's the grand dame of all races in the world. Everybody looks to Boston.

BRODY: And everybody shows up in and around Boston. Hundreds of thousands of folks line the 26.2 mile route, cheering on tens of thousands of competitors. The marathon captures the heart of the region in a celebration of the human spirit. That's part of why the bombings felt like such a betrayal. Jacobs and his family escaped physical injury 10 years ago, but the shock reverberates.

JACOBS: I mean, I was 200 feet away from the bombs when they went off. My wife was sitting in the bleachers across the street. And, you know, that's something you just don't forget.

BRODY: To honor the victims and salute the resilience and generosity of the public, the city turns April 15 into One Boston Day, devoted to acts of service. Today's 10th anniversary events include a ceremony on Boylston Street this afternoon. Ed Jacobs will cue a bell ringer in the historic church that overlooks the scene.

JACOBS: And that sends shivers up and down my spine when I hear those bells because that tells me we're back at the finish line. We're back at the Boston Marathon. And that's a piece of it.

BRODY: Just beneath that church bell tower, Sarah Fink of Chelmsford, Mass., relaxes in a park with her husband and three young children. They've visited the marathon finish line, and she says it's important to her to reflect on the tragedy.

SARAH FINK: I think it would be naive to think that it hasn't changed us. I think we all have changed just given how fragile life is.

BRODY: But Fink says she and her husband try to teach their kids that kindness matters and that being good makes a difference.

FINK: Those people that helped in 2013 after the bombing inspired other people. They inspired people to do something else that would be positive and bring some light after something so dark.

BRODY: Ed Jacobs agrees. Having spent more than half a century in a career supporting the Boston Marathon and having grieved the losses of 2013, Jacobs says he keeps his focus on what works.

JACOBS: It's a black mark, and yet we continue. We - you know, we got to live on, and we have to do things in their memories.

BRODY: This afternoon, officials will dedicate a new commemorative finish line. The 127th Boston Marathon takes place Monday.

For NPR News, I'm Sharon Brody in Boston.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Sharon Brody