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Hundreds Gather For Boston Memorial Service Near Marathon's Finish

People participate in an interfaith memorial service with members of six churches near the site of Monday's Boston Marathon bombings.
Kevork Djansezian
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Getty Images
People participate in an interfaith memorial service with members of six churches near the site of Monday's Boston Marathon bombings.

Hundreds of Boston-area residents gathered Sunday to pray, to sing and to remember the victims of bombs and other violence in the city this week.

Six churches organized an interfaith service near the intersection of Boylston and Berkeley streets, close to the cordoned-off area where investigators are examining the crime scene created when two bombs tragically altered the finish of the 2013 Boston Marathon.

At the memorial service held six days after police say brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev allegedly set off two bombs, residents celebrated the victims of the attack and proclaimed themselves free from the anxiety that gripped the area during an intense manhunt that ended Friday night.

The event began with a moment of silence in honor of Martin Richard, Lingzi Lu and Krystle Campbell, who died Monday; MIT police Officer Sean Collier, who was slain Thursday night; and the more than 170 people who were wounded in the twin blasts bombing.

The crowd filled the intersection where a makeshift memorial of flowers and messages has grown since Monday. Several of those in attendance held signs declaring "Boston Strong," and thanking local police departments for their work in securing the region and making an arrest in the case.

Boston's WCVB carried a live blog of the event, including a running account by that station's Sean Kelly of the songs sung by the crowd:

  • "Let There Be Peace on Earth"
  • "Guide My Feet"
  • "America The Beautiful"
  • "This Little Light of Mine (I'm Gonna Let it Shine)"
  • Sunday's memorial service comes two days after Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured by police, ending an emergency state of lockdown for the area that had been ordered by police.

    A more formal memorial service was held Thursday morning, an event organized by the office of Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick. That interfaith service was attended by President Obama, as well as former Gov. Mitt Romney.

    Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.
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