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Boston's Boylston Street opens; mourners gather for slain officer

April 24, 2013|By Michael Muskal
  • Signatures adorn a Boston Marathon poster near the site of the bombings on Boylston Street. The street fully reopened Wednesday.
Signatures adorn a Boston Marathon poster near the site of the bombings… (Mario Tama / Getty Images )

With more of a sigh than a fanfare, Boylston Street, the scene of the twin bombings near the Boston Marathon finish line, reopened on Wednesday.

Even as mourners began to gather on Wednesday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the MIT officer slain during the frantic manhunt for the bombing suspects last week, the street where the week of terror began was open, hours after maintenance people removed the barricades.

It was on the north side of Boylston Street where two devices exploded about 100 yards and 10 seconds apart April 15, killing three and injuring more than 200. The street has been closed since the attack.

On Wednesday, construction workers stood by the fresh concrete poured into the spot where one of the blasts took place nine days ago, according to images broadcast from the scene. A Starbucks store allowed customers to retrieve purses, school bags and cellphones left last week when patrons fled the blasts.

“I don't think there's going to be a sense of normalcy for a while,” Tom Champoux, 48, who works a few blocks away, told Associated Press as he pointed to the fresh concrete and boarded-up windows. “There are scars here that will be with us for a long time.”

A large sign hung in the window of one store, mourning the victims and praising the officials who responded.

“We all stand as one, and we will run again,” the sign read. “We are all Boston. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts. We will reopen soon.”

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, has been charged with federal counts of using a weapon of mass destruction in the bombings. He remains in custody and is being treated in a hospital.

His brother, Tamerlan, 26, was killed in a shootout with police that left Dzhokhar wounded. The surviving brother was apprehended some 20 hours later, hiding in a boat in nearby Watertown.

During their flight, the brothers are believed to have wounded a transit officer, Richard Donohue. Authorities said the brothers also shot Collier, 27, on Thursday night in Cambridge in what Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis has called a “vicious assassination.”

Collier’s funeral was on Tuesday. His memorial service Wednesday was expected to draw thousands including Vice President Joe Biden.

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