BOSTON—A steady stream of visitors made their way up the steps of the Boston Public Library in Copley Square. The library is home to “Dear Boston: Messages from the Marathon Memorial,” a collection of photos and mementos that document the outpouring of support that flowed into the city after the April 15, 2013 Marathon bombings.
Mary and her husband Charles, who live in Cambridge just three blocks from the family home of suspected bombers the Tsarnaev brothers, came to to see the exhibit.
“We lived through this. It is an emotional thing to come and look at, it is very moving,” Mary said. Their neighborhood was locked down during the extended search for the brothers that shut down the city and surrounding towns for nearly 24 hours.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is scheduled to go on trail in November for the bombing. His brother Tamerlan was killed during the shootout with police in the aftermath. The attack left three people dead and more than 260 people injured, many of whom are permanently disfigured.
The exhibit is both an archive of the past and an outlet for still raw feelings of fear, loss, hope and resilience. Three trees in the exhibit hall are blooming with flowers and hundreds of white tags printed with messages from visitors.
The most touching exhibits capture moments of beauty and clarity that defy the confusion and turmoil of that difficult time. One sign left on the memorial reads “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that.”
The exhibit is in the McKim Exhibition Hall in the Central Library in Copley Square and runs from April 7 through May 11, 2014.