It was a sun-filled April morning when bombs went off at the Boston Marathon, forever impacting more than 200 families and killing three people.
In the wake of the devastation and destruction, Bostonians, Massachusetts residents and Americans alike came together to show that they are all “Boston Strong.”
Now, a year later, that message and ideal still resonates with many.
Social media played a large role in the immediate aftermath, as the #BostonStrong hashtag floated across multiple social networks for weeks. And this anniversary has rejuvenated that trend. MSNBC posted a list of tweets — including tweets from President Barack Obama and other politicians — that commemorated the Boston spirit.
"Today, we recognize the incredible courage and leadership of so many Bostonians in the wake of unspeakable tragedy,” read Obama’s tweet, according to MSNBC.
The Boston Herald released a similar list of tweets, showing that people, including celebrities, were socially sharing their thoughts on Boston.
And there have been more than just tweets highlighting Boston's strength. There’s a Boston Strong license plate that was recently approved, CBS reported. And Fox Sports posted a story about the role Boston Strong T-shirts played in the wake of the tragedy, including how and why Chris Dobens, Lane Brenner and Nick Reynolds sold, created and distributed those shirts.
“Even to this day, when we see things in the news about it — even right now with the trial and the potential death penalty, it still brings back that fear,” Dobens told Fox Sports. “It still brings back the heartache that you went through during that day, but you know that everyone is so much stronger now. ... I think just being able to do this, just makes it so much easier to keep going.”
There’s a religious response that’s needed, too, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf wrote for The Huffington Post. As people try to understand each other in this complex and multicultural world, religious tolerance is needed, so that people aren’t stereotyped by what the bombers — Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev — did last spring.
“So it is important, as this anniversary approaches, that we redouble our efforts to build bridges among the faiths to counter Islamophobia and to explain that true Muslims who submit to the will of God find violence abhorrent and attacks on innocents a violation of their faith,” Rauf wrote.
No matter what has been done or what writers say needs to be done, the bombings affected families, which were at the center of The New York Times’ latest compilation of stories. The stories, organized by Samantha Storey, showed how families have begun moving forward.
“Some say their lives are richer and fuller; others cope with fear and anxiety,” Storey wrote. “Many find solace in keepsakes from that day.”