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One Boston Day commemorates strength, encourages kindness

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On the two-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings, the City of Boston held the first-ever One Boston Day, a tradition introduced by Boston Mayor Martin Walsh in a March 19 press release, intended to commemorate the strength of the City of Boston.

The Boston Redevelopment Authority organized One Boston Day as a means to “show the world that Boston’s flame burns as brightly as ever,” according to One Boston Day’s website.

Walsh encouraged people worldwide to join Bostonians in a moment of silence on Wednesday, scheduled for 2:49 p.m., the time of the two explosions at the 2013 Boston Marathon that killed three people and injured 260 others. A bell tolling throughout the city followed the moment of silence.

Over 200 people gathered to observe the moment of silence, including the family of Martin Richard, the 8-year-old Dorchester resident who was killed as a result of one of the explosions on Boylston Street on April 15, 2013. Observers wore orange t-shirts that read “4.15 Boston Day” in honor of One Boston Day.

The day was “an opportunity to recognize the good in our community and reflect on the spirit of grace and resilience of the people of Boston,” according to an April 9 press release. The release stated that “One Boston Day” would “encourage random acts of kindness and spreading goodwill.”

Walsh launched the website in an effort to share how Boston and people around the world marked Wednesday, according to an April 13 press release.

Individuals and organizations around Boston were encouraged to share how they spent One Boston Day on social media using the hashtag #OneBostonDay to be featured on the website.

Nick Martin, spokesman for the BRA, said One Boston Day is about making an effort to be representative of the goodness present in the community.

“As you know, the Mayor … basically asked city departments and staff to make every effort to be emblematic of this effort as possible,” he said. “So that is anything from small gestures, like giving up your seat on the train for somebody who needs it, to larger gestures, like some city departments are running clothing drives or supplies for moms and families.”

The BRA staff’s main priority on One Boston Day was to be visible, friendly and mindful of the anniversary, Martin said.

“It’s really just a matter of thinking about what the spirit of the day is and thinking about how you can make a small contribution,” he said. “As a team at the BRA, we felt like it was important for us to be visible. You see us out here in the orange shirts, and just to be friendly faces and ambassadors for the city.”

Martin said the BRA’s staff aims to represent the city in the best way possible.

“There was talk about having some people go out to the airport or South Station, to greet people who are coming into the city, or welcome them,” Martin said. “Everyone is really sort of doing their own thing, but really in the best, most positive way, and showing off the best that Boston has to offer.”

Several residents said One Boston Day is a good way to remember the events of 2013 and keep the spirit of the Boston Marathon alive.

Jenny Marcano, 22, of Allston, was in Boston during the 2013 bombings. She said that although it was a scary time, events such as One Boston Day help the community reflect and come together.

“[As] Bostonians, we do what we want and stuff like this happens, and we just stick together,” she said. “We figure out a way through it and still find a way to enjoy our festivities without being afraid all the time.”

The overarching theme of One Boston Day is that of celebration, and Rory Razon, 33, of Allston, said this celebration of the race is crucial to the city’s identity.

“I’m glad the city can come together and mourn but also celebrate the marathon. We don’t want the marathon to be scarred forever for us,” Razon said. “It’s so important to the city. From what I understand from a runner’s perspective, we’re one of the best cities to run in.”


Razon said it’s important to soothe still-raw wounds, so in coming years the marathon can continue to be a celebrated event, not a sad one.

“It’s an important thing for the city, so it’s nice that we have time to heal and time to reflect so we don’t necessarily always dwell on one horrible thing that happened in comparison to all the amazing things that happen every single year,” Razon said.

Martin Gonzalez, 20, of Beacon Hill, said that now more than ever, people care about the marathon and that events such as One Boston Day help those people remember the marathon’s past few years.

“It’s a good thing that they really remember what happened and everyone that was affected by it,” he said. “People who might not have cared before care now. People kind of want to be a part of it. It’s more important.”

Paige Smith contributed to the reporting of this article.

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Editor-in-Chief. Bostonian by way of Indiana. Excessive Instagrammer. Seltzer addict. Journalism junkie, storytelling fiend.

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