It’s been nearly eight years since the Boston Marathon Bombing in 2013, where numerous people were injured and four died of their injuries, but already One Boston Day has taken on steadfast traditions throughout the neighborhoods.
Last Thursday, April 15, known as One Boston Day, Acting Mayor Kim Janey toured several locations to thank first responders at Engine 33 on Boylston Street and Engine 7 on Columbus Avenue, help out with cleaning the Carter School in the South End, and to pause for a moment of silence at the new Memorial on Boylston Street just after noon.
“On April 15, 2013, our first responders stepped up in the face of tragedy to protect everyone at the Boston Marathon,” she said. “Today, I was happy to visit Engine 7 and Engine 33 to thank them for their service to our city that day and always.
“The Boston Marathon Memorial serves as a tribute to the victims and their families of the 2013 bombing, but also our City’s resilience,” she continued. “This #OneBostonDay, I encourage everyone to show acts of kindness to others and reflect on the importance of this day.”
At the Carter School, the Public Facilities Department for the City made its annual sojourn to the South End to clean up the grounds of the unique school, which is getting re-built soon to be fully inclusive and accessible.
Principal Mark O’Connor said the new school, which is in the final design stages, will include a rooftop classroom, generous outdoor spaces and even zero entry therapy swimming pool – something the physically-challenged students at the Carter have to travel to Canton to access now.
“It’s an exciting project and it’s what our students deserve – that they will have a school building that supports their education and allows us to provide that education,” he said. “It will be a building that won’t be a physical barrier to them achieving support and learning.”
At Engine 33 in the Back Bay, Fire Commissioner Jack Dempsey hosted the mayor along with the jakes in the Boylston Street house.
Janey presented them with Dunkin’ Donuts treats and thanked them for what they did in 2013, and what they continue to do each day.
Meanwhile, at the Memorial down the street, Chris Loper stood off to the side of the crowd with a single Daffodil plant. The former manager of the Forum, Loper looked over at what still is an empty space where the thriving restaurant existed up until 2:49 p.m. on April 15, 2013.
Every year, Loper returns to the site of the Memorial – even before there was a Memorial – and puts down a Daffodil plant.
“It’s unbelievable it’s been eight years,” he said. “I come back every year to do this. I’ve been down to Florida for a while and I live in South Boston so it’s not too far. After I put down the Daffodil, the former staff from the Forum and I get together for lunch. It’s a tradition we have. One of the young women is eight months pregnant now, and it’s amazing how their lives have progressed since that day.
Now, Loper said he’s training to run the Marathon on the 10th anniversary, in 2023, and is writing a book about his experiences.