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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

UMass Boston hosts Boston Marathon remembrance ceremony

A+moment+of+silence+was+observed+at+2%3A49+p.m.+on+April+15
A moment of silence was observed at 2:49 p.m. on April 15

April 15 marked the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombings, an event that forever changed the city and shaped the way the race will be run for every following year. The Boston Marathon has been an iconic event that has brought Bostonians together every Patriots’ Day since 1897 and it attracts approximately 500,000 spectators annually.

Boston has come back stronger than ever after this tragedy with the amount of entrants allowed in the 2014 race nearly doubling. It was expected that approximately 40,000 runners from all over the country would participate this year in order to honor those who could not finish the race last year; the number of participants was closer to 36,000.

This year the race symbolized the strength and resilience of the city of Boston, with its residents who have been dubbed “Boston Strong.” Last Sunday a relay race that started in Los Angeles and ended in Boston called “The One Run for Boston” crossed the finish line in Copley, raising over $400,000 for the One Fund, a foundation that supports those most affected by the marathon bombings.

This week, the University of Massachusetts Boston is joining the rest of the city in remembering and commemorating the tragedy that, even one year later, is still felt in both the university community and the Greater Boston community.

Exactly one year after the attack, students and faculty alike gathered in the Campus Center for the Boston Marathon Remembrance Ceremony, which featured a variety of speakers and activities. This event gave audience members a chance to quietly reflect on the year following the tragedy, as well as a moment to remember the university’s own alumna Krystle Campbell, who died at the finish line that day.

The ceremony opened with Kathleen Yorkis, the executive director of University Health Services, who spoke about the subtle changes seen in the UMass Boston community. She sees these changes in how the university came together in the aftermath of the tragedy as a way to “symbolize the resolute pride and strength of [our city].” This sense of pride she mentions is starkly noticeable in the sea of blue and yellow “Boston Strong” shirts present in the audience.

Next to speak was Reverend Adrienne Berry-Burton, who talked about the light that came out of the darkness of the event. She praises Boston as the kind of city where people selflessly run towards the bombings to help those injured instead of running away.

The afternoon also included a speech from Student Trustee Nolan O’Brien, who built upon the recurring themes of community support and outreach. “Seeing the city come together brought hope and we saw how strong Boston was as a community,” said O’Brien.

Audience members were given the opportunity to sign a healing banner after a moment of silence. Reverend Berry-Burton played music, giving students a chance to reflect and remember the year that has passed since the tragedy. Sophomore Manuel Castro used this time to reflect on what this event meant to him personally.

“Attending the ceremony did resurface memories of the Boston Marathon tragedy that occurred last year,” he said. “But even though it brought back memories it also evoked a sense of pride in our community’s focus on healing and reflection. There were members of the university and Boston community there to reflect on the events that transpired and there were people there who were affected by it because Boston is their home; it’s the place where they should feel safe. Attending this event was rewarding because it reminded me to not take the privilege of living in Boston for granted [because] I have a community around me that cares for its members.”

UMass Boston and the city of Boston have made it clear that while the community will not forget what happened last year, Boston has come together this year again unafraid and unwavering in the support and celebration of a tradition that has long been a defining day.