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Boston bombing aftermath: Memorials and public gatherings grow

April 18, 2013|By Alana Semuels
  • In Boston, a memorial for victims of the marathon bombings continues to grow.
In Boston, a memorial for victims of the marathon bombings continues to… (Alana Semuels / Los Angeles…)

BOSTON -- Since the events of the last few days, Dominick DiLuzio, 23, has taken to wandering the streets of Boston. In particular, he’s been drawn to the corner of Boylston and Berkeley streets, where a barrier is erected since the streets are still closed, and a memorial has been growing since Tuesday.

This evening, when he made the 20-minute journey from his office, he saw the memorial to the victims of Monday's bombings had grown to dozens of bouquets of flowers, teddy bears, Red Sox hats and cards. And then someone handed him a program. A church service was about to begin.

Dozens of people gathered as a choir of children from Trinity Church sang "Amazing Grace" and other songs, and the Rev. Samuel Lloyd of Trinity gave a short talk.

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"We've seen the worst that humans can do and also the best humans can be,” he said, explaining that since Trinity is behind the barriers, the church community decided to bring the church to the street and welcome anyone who passes by.

For DiLuzio, both the service and the memorial help him start to process Monday’s events, and be with others.

"You can't escape the feeling that something happened, just walking around the city,” he said. “I keep feeling drawn to come down here to get a sense of understanding, feel the unity we all have.”

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Normally buttoned-up Bostonians seem to be craving a place to be with others and think about Monday’s bombing, whether watching this morning’s memorial service in a restaurant, or approaching people wearing marathon jackets on the street to just say hello.

Karen Mui, 28, took an hourlong subway ride from her home in Quincy to see the memorial after she heard about it on the news. She left a long-stemmed rose and watched as the choir sang.

“I just wanted to pay my respects,” she said.

For many, the memorial is part of the city’s healing process. Audrey Velez, 25, of West Roxbury, came down to leave a sign and a note at the memorial. She owes a lot to the city, she said, and felt that coming to pay her respects was the least she could do.

The sign, written in Velez’s neat handwriting, in all capital letters, read: “We will rise!”


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Twitter: @alanasemuels

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