Boston Exhibit to Showcase Mementos of Marathon Bombing

Tuesday, 01 Apr 2014 08:26 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Archivists in Boston used to handling documents ranging from budget records to minutes of city council meetings, along with an occasional file dating to the city's 17th-century founding, have spent the last year processing thousands of sneakers, T-shirts and letters.

It has been a tear-jerking project for the staff of the Boston city archives. These are the mementos left behind at an impromptu memorial built at the site of the 2013 bombing attack on the Boston Marathon, which killed three people and injured 264 at the race's crowded finish line.

"This has been a unique experience for us. We've never done anything like this before," city archivist John McColgan said during a recent tour of the low-slung building where staff are sorting through the outpouring of mementoes.

The makeshift shrine began in the days after the April 15 attack, as visitors and residents left stuffed animals, flags and other tributes along the metal barricades erected by the police to fence off the site as they searched for clues about the bombers.

The memorial eventually moved to Copley Square, the site of the main branch of the Boston Public Library, and grew to thousands of items. On June 25 it was taken down on the order of then-Mayor Thomas Menino and handed over to city archivists to catalog.

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama's Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll

Next week, several hundred of the items - including four wooden crosses memorializing the three who died in the blasts and a university police officer who was shot dead a few days later in a related incident - will return to the square, this time inside the library for an exhibit that will run from April 7-May 11.

The project has been a unique one for the archive staff, largely because the events are so recent said Marta Crilly, a city archivist.

"We are documenting history that we experienced personally, and in many ways that is a big advantage because we are not going to have a gap in the record," Crilly said. "It's very fresh."

The bombing, which was the largest mass-casualty attack on U.S. soil since 9/11, sent ripples of fear through the city and the marathon itself, a more than 100-year-old event that is Boston's best-attended sporting event and the world's longest-running annual marathon.

Four days after the attack, most of the metropolitan area went into lockdown as police searched for the two ethnic Chechen brothers suspected of planting two home-made pressure-cooker bombs and later killing a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer as they prepared to flee the city.

The elder of the brothers died during the escape attempt, while survivor Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, now 20, is awaiting trial on charges that carry the threat of execution if he is convicted.

The tragedy drew a wave of responses, including letters from school children in China, South Korea and Kenya.

"I'm also deeply sorry for all the people that were hurt," read a letter from a third-grade class in Kenya, the home country of last year's female Boston Marathon champion, Rita Jeptoo, and male second-place finisher Lelisa Desisa.

Today the letters and signs are held in the city archive, while the sneakers, stuffed animals and other larger items are being held at a Northborough, Massachusetts, facility owned by document management company Iron Mountain.

The exhibit, which will feature a small sampling of the relics, aims to help city residents develop some sense of closure with the bombing, ahead of this year's marathon, which will be run April 21.

"We knew that this anniversary was going to bring up a lot of emotion and memories for people that were going to be hard," said Rainey Tisdale, a museum curator who is preparing the exhibit.

"We didn't want to just throw all that out there on the table and leave people swirling in it. We wanted to help them find some resolution."

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama's Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Ex-Romney Adviser: Americans Don't Appreciate Foreign Policy

Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 21:00 PM

Americans are woefully underinformed on the need for strong foreign policy, but that doesn't mean their leaders should a . . .

Obamacare Gives Some Young Adults Incentive to Stay Uninsured

Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 20:42 PM

Despite its intended goal to provide health insurance to everyone, Obamacare actually gives some young adults a strong f . . .

CNN Anchor Tweets Insult About Fox News Climate Story

Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 19:26 PM

CNN anchor Bill Weir went on a mini-Twitter tirade Thursday, crudely slamming a Fox News blog for its post on former Vic . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved