Friends and family of the young victim ran the marathon on the tenth anniversary of the bombing.
It has been ten years since the tragic explosions at the Boston Marathon finish line killed three people and injured many.
One of those killed was eight-year-old Martin Richard, a young person who significantly impacted those who loved him with his message of peace.
Monday saw three childhood friends of Martin run the marathon in his memory, along with some of his family members.
An emotional anniversary – a moving celebration of Martin’s memory
Martin’s classmates, Jack Burke (19), Nolan Cleary (18), and Ava O’Brien (19), completed the marathon on Monday as part of Team MR8.
“It feels amazing to be able to honour his legacy and do something that was his dream”, Jack Burke said in a heartwarming statement after completing the marathon.
18-year-old Nolan Cleary was Martin’s best friend, and he said he hoped that their taking part in the marathon would be meaningful to those who knew and loved Martin. The three friends have been planning to run the race for years, patiently waiting to be old enough.
Joining them were Martin’s brother, Henry, and father, Bill. Henry said, “Running as a team really kept us going the whole way. It was a beautiful thing. It’s a very emotional race for me, for my family, for my friends, for Martin’s friends. I thought of Martin the whole way”.
Many came to mark the event – many survivors and family members attended for the tenth anniversary
While three sadly died from the explosions in 2013, many more were injured. Many survivors and others affected attended the location on Saturday. Many laid wreaths and held a vigil to reflect on the tragic event.
Monday showed reminders of the attack to mark the decade. One such indicator was a banner near the finish line reading “4.15 Boston 10 years”. Ava O’Brien said the crowd was “cheering extra loud, especially when they saw us coming by because they’re all rooting for us”.
The Martin Richard Foundation – a foundation promoting Martin’s message
Following the tragic events of 2013, a photo of Martin went viral. The image was him holding a sign reading “No More Hurting People, Peace.”
This message became the ethos of the Martin Richard Foundation, which encourages young people to become leaders in their community, to celebrate diversity, and to change for the better.
The foundation was founded by Martin’s parents, Bill and Denise, and the members of Team MR8 were all members of the foundation in some way. Ava, Jack, and Nolan are all members of the foundation’s Youth Board, led by Henry’s siblings, Henry and Jane.
Jack Burke hoped that completing the marathon with the Martin Richard Foundation would help “spread Martin’s message, be able to create kindness in the world, and honour him – never let him be forgotten.”
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