Members of the Northeastern University community convened on Wednesday afternoon to remember those affected by the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.
Northeastern’s Center for Spirituality, Dialogue and Service held a remembrance ceremony on Krentzman Quad, where three members of the university community shared how the attacks have impacted their lives.
“We come together to honor the victims, the survivors, and the heroes of the marathon bombings,” said Alexander Levering Kern, the center’s director. “But most of all we come together to recall the best of who we are and who we might be.”
Wednesday marked the two-year anniversary of the marathon bombings, which killed three people and injured more than 260 others near the race’s Boylston Street finish line. Northeastern’s remembrance ceremony coincided with other events honoring the victims of the attack, including a moment of silence at the finish line at 2:49 p.m. to mark the time the first bomb went off.
Earlier in the day, Northeastern President Joseph E. Aoun addressed the university community’s response to the attacks in a message to the Northeastern family. “Let us recall once more the bonds that sustained us then—and that will always undergird our character as a university, as Bostonians, and as members of the human family,” he wrote. “Amid the horror of that day, our university community drew together in so many remarkable ways—to care for the injured at the finish line, to aid those who needed support, and to comfort one another in our sorrow.”
At the remembrance ceremony, nurse practitioner and Northeastern alumna Leslie Adams, BHS’12, recalled volunteering at one of the finish line’s medical tents after the bombs had gone off. When she heard the sound, she initially thought the finish line installation had come crashing down.
“Tent A went from a marathon treatment center to a triaging ED within minutes,” Adams said. “The Boston Marathon of 2013 was a life-changing day.”
In his remarks, NUPD Officer John Farrell said his wife was running the marathon that day and was in the final mile when the bombs exploded. He responded to the scene, and they reunited near Massachusetts Avenue.
“I had never been happier to see someone in my entire life,” Farrell said.
Robert Jose, associate dean for cultural, residential spiritual life, shared that when he thinks of April 15, 2013, one word comes to mind: truth. “It causes us to remember what is important,” Jose said. “To understand and remember what needs to be valued.”
Following Kern’s welcoming remarks, four of the center’s spiritual advisors read the names of the four victims of the attack and its aftermath: Krystle Campbell, Lu Lingzi, and Martin Richard were killed in the bombings, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology Police Officer Sean Collier was shot and killed a few days after the explosions.
After reading the names, each advisor placed an origami crane next to a makeshift memorial of flowers and running shoes. Kern explained that the crane is a widely known symbol of peace.
Interfaith and Buddhist student leader Moleca Mich, PhD’15, read a poem by Scott Poole titled To Run – A prayer for Boston. The service concluded with a song led by Ashley Griffin, SSH’18, a student leader at the Center for Spirituality, Dialogue and Service.