Almost two months have passed since the bombings at the Boston Marathon. To some of you, it may feel just like yesterday. To others, it may be just another example of a world gone tragically mad that is quickly fading into memory.
For runners, the bombings in Boston have become woven into the fabric of our running tapestry. For those fast enough, there are marathons to run to get a Boston qualifier for next year’s marathon. The print publication cycle has caught up, and I can’t pick up a running magazine without reading yet another runner’s account of this year’s Boston. The qualifying attempts and the runners’ stories serve as memorials of a sort, but there’s something in human grief that wants a more tangible memorial. And as a result, Boylston Street is filling with trinkets/treasures/trash.
I was in Boston recently and wanted to go to Boylston Street to see the finish line and the areas affected by the bombings. Yes, I was being a tourist, but I also wanted to offer a prayer there for those still recovering from their injuries and for those who will never get over the loved ones they lost that day.
My husband and I were on our way to the airport for a flight, and so he dropped me off and circled a few blocks while I walked around, puzzled by how little I actually saw left behind:
At first, just this small tree covered with bracelets and beads and shirts
I was expecting race bibs and signs and finishers’ medals and old shoes and flowers.
Flowers and stuffed animals and American flags sprinkle the ground near the blast sites.
More beads and bracelets left behind in Boston
What I didn’t realize until later – when I got home and Googled images for Boston bombing memorials – was that the clutter had become so overwhelming that someone (city officials?) decided to move the memorial area to a square nearby.
I took this photo, not realizing that the people and stuff were not some sort of street fair but rather the memorial area where people could congregate and leave behind mementos.
The square is past the finish line, and therefore beyond the bombing sites, and so maybe that’s why I didn’t think to look there. Continue reading