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Boston, nation prepare to mark week after marathon bombings

April 22, 2013|By Melanie Mason, Richard A. Serrano and Maria L. La Ganga | This post has been corrected. See below for details.
  • Supporters hang an American Flag in a tree across the street from St. Joseph's Church in Medford, Mass., before the start of the funeral for bombing victim Krystle Campbell.
Supporters hang an American Flag in a tree across the street from St. Joseph's… (CJ Gunther / EPA )

BOSTON -- This city is preparing to commemorate the passage of a week since two bombs exploded at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, as people try to resume their lives after days of terror and the surge of relief that followed the killing and capture of the suspects in the attack.

At 2:50 p.m. EDT, the moment of the first blast that shook the city and the nation last Monday, people around the country will stop and observe a moment of silence. Bells will toll across Boston and elsewhere. The Massachusetts State Police said it will broadcast the silence in tribute to the victims of the blasts.

In Washington, President Obama, who visited Boston last week to help the city mourn and heal, will observe the moment of silence, the White House announced Monday morning.

FULL COVERAGE: Boston Marathon attack

It was just a week ago that two bombs went off within 100 yards of each other and within seconds along Boylston Street. Three people were killed and more than 180 were injured. Most have been treated and released, but some remain hospitalized in a range of conditions from fair to critical. One of the most seriously injured is a 7-year-old girl with multiple leg injuries being treated at Boston Children's Hospital, the facility said.

After the attack, the FBI identified two suspects, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, and his 26-year-old brother, Tamerlan, ethnic Chechen brothers from the war-tossed southern region of Russia. The elder brother was killed in a shootout with police in the early hours of Friday in the suburb of Watertown and the younger one was captured, bleeding and hiding in a boat, half a mile away some 20 hours later.

During the day Friday, authorities asked people to remain indoors, effectively shutting down the region during a tense manhunt.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was beginning to provide “some written responses” to questions from authorities, seeking information about any other potential plots and whether other explosive devices had been left behind, a federal law enforcement official said Monday.

The official asked to speak anonymously because the investigation is still underway. He did not say what Tsarnaev’s responses were.

He said authorities are being careful to question the suspect only under the Miranda rule exemption, but added that federal terrorism charges against the 19-year-old are likely -- perhaps as soon as Monday.

Meanwhile, Tsarnaev remains in serious condition in Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, FBI special agent Greg Comcowich said.

Tsarnaev is likely to face state charges in connection with the fatal shooting of MIT police officer Sean Collier in Cambridge on Thursday night at the beginning of what became a night of terror.

He could face charges in connection with the wounding of transit officer Richard Donohue, 31, who was injured in the shootout. The officer continues to be listed in critical, but stable condition.

In addition to the moment of silence, a funeral began Monday morning for Krystle Campbell, a 29-year-old restaurant worker killed in the blasts. A memorial service is scheduled Monday night at Boston University for 23-year-old Lu Lingzi, a graduate student from China, also killed in the blast.

The funeral Mass for Campbell was taking place in Medford, Mass., at St. Joseph’s Church, the woman’s home parish and where she had celebrated her First Communion. Trees were decorated with American flags and a three-story American flag was hung on the wall of a municipal building. 

Among those who came to mourn Campbell was Margaret Regan, of Winchester, Mass., who was Campbell’s second-grade teacher at The Swan School, which closed in 2003.

Regan displayed a picture of Campbell’s class.

“That’s Kystle, right in the back row, center,” Regan said. “She had the biggest smile. That’s the way she was.”

In some ways, Monday morning had the trappings of a typical workday in Boston. Traffic on Massachusetts Avenue, a major thoroughfare, crawled with regular morning commute traffic. Business was brisk at Flour, a bakery and coffee shop in Back Bay, with a mix of professionals taking their coffee to go and others settling in to work on their laptops or linger over a newspaper.

But the police barricades were still up a couple blocks away around the blast site, closing off Boylston Street and nearby blocks to cars and pedestrians.

Terence Keane, a professor of psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine, said returning to routine daily life was essential for healing.

“For many people, it will be difficult to get back to a normal routine,” Keane said at a news conference at Boston Medical Center. “You may not feel like it, you may not be energized to do this. But from a long-standing set of scientific studies, the people who do best are the people that get back to normal.”

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