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Marathon bombing memorial set for summer 2019 completion

An overview of Boylston Street near the marathon finish line, the area in which two bombs were detonated in 2013, killing three people and injuring more than 260. GOOGLE EARTH

The memorial to the victims of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings should be finished this summer, the project’s artist said, more than a year after the memorial was planned to be unveiled on the fifth anniversary of the attacks in April 2018.

Marking the exact locations near the marathon finish line along Boylston Street where two bombs were detonated six years ago, the memorial commemorates the three people who died in the 2013 attacks, according to The Boston Globe.

Those people are 23-year-old Lingzi Lu, a Boston University graduate student studying statistics, 8-year-old Martin Richard and 29-year-old Krystle Campbell.

The memorial will be split into two parts and feature rough-hewn granite pillars demarcating where each victim died, according to the Globe, with Campbell’s pillar at the site of the first bombing outside of Marathon Sports and Lu’s and Richard’s pillars joined together at the second site outside of Atlantic Fish Company.

Each pillar will be circled by a bronze ring describing how each victim died and concluding with an excerpt, according to the Globe. Campbell’s quote was written by relatives and a local poet and reads, “All we have lost is brightly lost.” Lu’s and Richard’s quote reads, “Let us climb, now, the road to hope.”

Additionally, each marker will be surrounded by four light pillars — eight in total — that are 21 feet tall and made of white, frosted glass wreathed in a bronze lattice design, according to the Globe. The pillars will be flanked by cherry trees that will bloom annually around the anniversary of the bombings.

The memorial will also include two bronze bricks with the names and badges of officers who died as a result of the manhunt for the bombing’s perpetrators, according to the Globe. Those officers are Sean Collier, a 27-year-old MIT police officer of Somerville, and Dennis Simmonds, a 28-year-old Boston Police officer.

Pablo Eduardo, a Bolivian sculptor, designed and is making the sculpted elements of the memorial at a foundry in Chelsea, according to the Globe.

Eduardo said in a City press release announcing the project in April 2017 he hopes the final memorial will be able to fully represent both the city of Boston and the victims it memorializes.

“It is humbling to have been chosen to create a work of art that will honor the victims of the 2013 Boston Marathon attack,” Eduardo said. “Art is a powerful vehicle for remembrance and healing, and my goal is for this art to embody the spirit of those we lost and the spirit of the city they loved.”

Stone for Campbell’s pillar was sourced from Spectacle Island in Boston Harbor while material for Richard’s pillar was procured near his home in Franklin Park, according to the Globe.

BU spokesperson Colin Riley said the university donated granite for Lu’s pillar in memory of the former student. He added the particular stone they chose was only available in “reclaimed form.”

While BU was unable to fulfill the City’s original request for a suitable granite block mined on campus, Riley said, a contractor was still able to find a fitting stone for the memorial — a lavender granite from the Cape Ann and Rockport area that is no longer commercially quarried.

Riley said the stone used for Lu’s memorial originally comes from the Longfellow Bridge, which spans the Charles River near Massachusetts General Hospital. When stone was removed during the bridge’s recent refurbishment, a donor noticed the stone and contacted the university.

“The Longfellow Bridge comes over a short distance from the campus,” Riley said, “and it’s sort of connected to that — it crosses the Charles, and that’s a good connection to BU.”

Allston resident Nicole Cember, 24, said she appreciates the design of the memorials though noted she thinks it could do a little more to explain the events of the bombings.

“I think the design is very nice, it seems thoughtful,” Cember said. “I feel like more can be on the actual act of running the marathon. It looks nice, … but I think it could be a little more substantial.”

Jackie Ko, 23, of Allston, said she likes the design of the memorials, especially their placement near the end of the marathon route.

“I think it was good. I think it would be nice to commemorate them,” Ko said. “I feel if there was a plaque there, it would be a nice reminder, as every year they go through that finish line, they’ll think about it as well. … I like the touch of the Japanese cherry blossoms.”


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