Boston bombing: Amid city's slow return to normalcy, a moment of silence

In a gesture of support for Boston and respect for the marathon bombing victims, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick ordered state residents to observe a moment of silence Monday at 2:50 p.m.

Steven Senne/AP
Li Xue, of Tianjin, China, (r.) and her grandson Ryan Zhang, 3, of Winston-Salem, N.C., visit a makeshift memorial in Boston, Monday. Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has asked that all the state's residents observe a moment of silence at 2:50 p.m. on Monday, marking one week since the first explosion.

While the city of Boston is trying to get back to business as usual, many of its residents are still grappling with the tragic attack at last week’s Boston Marathon, in which three people were killed and more than 180 wounded.

In a gesture of support for the city and respect for the victims, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has asked that all the state’s residents observe a moment of silence at 2:50 p.m. on Monday, marking one week since the first explosion.

During the minute of silence, Governor Patrick is asking people to pay tribute to the victims, their families, and to those who responded to the tragic events. After the silent tribute, churches in the city and across the state will toll their bells in a sign of mourning and solidarity.

Connecticut Gov. Daniel Malloy has also asked his state to join its neighbors in the tribute, and President Obama will also mark the moment at the White House.

The moment of silence falls on a day that families and friends mourn two of the victims killed during the attack.

Late Monday morning, an overflow crowd of mourners attended a private funeral mass for Krystle Campbell at St. Joseph’s Church in Medford, Mass. By 8 a.m., more than 200 members of Teamsters Local 25 had lined up outside the church ready to block protesters from the Westboro Baptist Church who said they would picket the funeral.

“It’s the right thing to do,” Sean O’Brien, president of the Teamster’s local, told The Boston Globe. “The family deserves a peaceful grieving process that’s free from any coward-led group.”

At the wake for Ms. Campbell on Sunday, more than 1,000 people waited an hour and a half in line to honor her, including US Sen. Elizabeth Warren, US Rep. Edward Markey, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, Medford Mayor Michael McGlynn, and Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone.

To honor Chinese graduate student Lu Lingzi, Boston University is holding a memorial service at 7 p.m. Monday, which is open to the public.

The university trustees have also established a fund to endow a memorial scholarship in Ms. Lu’s memory.

“There isn’t an individual at BU who didn’t have some connection to people who were [at the race],” Kenneth Feld, a BU trustee who proposed the memorial scholarship, told BU Today on Thursday. Mr. Feld said that there was an overwhelming request from alumni and students for a way to honor Lu and memorialize the day.

“A scholarship fund in her name will be there forever; people can contribute to something that is ongoing,” Feld said.

Sean Collier, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer who was killed in the line of duty Thursday, will be honored at a memorial service at the campus on Wednesday. School officials say they expect 10,000 people to attend.

“The outpouring of support from the MIT community has been overwhelming,” MIT Police Chief John DiFava said in a statement Sunday. “The MIT Police are being embraced by warm wishes wherever we go, and we truly appreciate it. It’s hard for me to express how meaningful this is to us.”

The MIT Police also created a website for people to leave condolences dedicated to Collier.

“I don't think I'll work another shift without you on my mind,” wrote Briana Komola, an evening custodian at MIT. “I want to thank you and all the MIT police officers for always giving me a sense of safety while working evenings. I pray that your family and friends can move forward with a sense of peace that you are now in a much better place.”

Sunday, members of the St. Ann Parish in Dorchester, Mass., mourned the youngest victim of the terrorist attacks, 8-year-old Martin Richard.

“We weep for the last week,’’ said Reverend Sean M. Connor during the Mass, The Boston Globe reported. He urged the 500 parishioners to take a message of love away from the tragedy. “If we are not changed for the better ... then we’ve learned little or nothing.”

As people honor the victims Monday, city officials are also planning on how to reopen the six-block stretch of Boylston Street that has been an active crime scene for the past week.

“Nearly a week ago our city took a deep breath and was forced to dive into a pool of uncertainty and fear,” Mayor Thomas Menino said in a statement Sunday. “Friday, as our officers reported to the world ‘we got him’, a huge sigh of relief was felt across our great city and nation, so now it is time for us to start moving our city forward.” 

After the FBI clears the scene of the attack, which is expected as early as Tuesday, city officials will help businesses along Boylston Street assess structural damage, remove debris, and counsel employees.

Memorials that have been set up along roadblocks – overflowing with flowers, balloons, and written condolences – will be moved to Copley Square Park when it opens. “As we respect the need for people to continue to express their support for the victims and our city we will place large message boards in the vicinity of the area to allow people to record their thoughts and reflections,” the mayor said in a statement.

Boston Public Schools Superintendent Carol Johnson tried to make parents and students feel welcome back to school as students returned from April break.

“We know this last week has been difficult and full of many emotions for students as well as adults,” Ms. Johnson said in the recording. “We hope your family is safe and well and that you are looking forward to returning to a normal schedule tomorrow, just as we are.”

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