Everyone knows it will be a special year at the 2014 Boston Marathon, as the grand old race and its host city commemorate last year’s tragic bombings. There is no getting around the centrality of that tragedy, nor will there be for years to come, though I suspect everyone is of two minds about it, as well. Truly, it is a no-win situation. Too much emphasis just validates the cruel act in the first place, too little attention and we fail to honor the injured and fallen, or to show proper resolve in the face of the cowardly attack.
Of course the marathon world is a bottomless pit of resolve, and today the BAA announced its plan for an official tribute to mark the one year anniversary. But due to the constantly moving third Monday of April Patriot’s Day race date, there will be a nearly one week cushion between the actual anniversary of the bombing and the 2014 race.
“I think we’ve caught a huge break with the race being so late this year,” said one media partner. “There will be an Anniversary observance on the 15th, and then hopefully we can move into race mode leading up to the 21st. Clearly, the topic can’t be avoided — but the goal is to focus on that race and that day. Hopefully the events of the prior week will make it easier to do that.”
The event’s official (magazine) program will also reflect the unique nature of this year’s event, and “the BAA is changing its content somewhat for this year’s program,” said its editor. Below is today’s BAA announcement in full.
PLANS ANNOUNCED FOR BOSTON MARATHON TRIBUTE
Mayor, Governor to co-host event honoring those affected by 2013 events
BOSTON – The Boston Athletic Association announced today plans for an official tribute event to mark the one year anniversary of April 15, 2013. The event, hosted jointly by Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Governor Deval L. Patrick in coordination with One Fund Boston will be held at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston on April 15, 2014.
“On April 15, we recall the courage, compassion, and commitment of our great city and its people,” said Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “Through this event, Boston again stands as one: paying tribute to all those affected by last year’s events and once again showing the world that Boston’s spirit of resiliency lives on.”
“As a community, we were put to the ultimate test by the events at last year’s Boston Marathon,” said Massachusetts Governor Deval L. Patrick. “But we rose to the occasion: turning to each other, rather than against and showing the world what a strong community looks like. Though we all had our lives affected in profoundly different ways, this Tribute will show the world again that we stand as one.”
The tribute will honor those affected by last year’s events, including those who lost their lives, survivors and first responders. Featured at the event will be speakers representing families of those affected, medical staff who treated patients, responding government agencies and a host of civic leaders. The event will conclude with a flag-raising ceremony and brief moment of silence.
“We are humbled to participate in this tribute on behalf of the entire Marathon community,” said Tom Grilk, executive director of the Boston Athletic Association. “We continue to express our deepest gratitude to all those who courageously reacted to help save lives. And we remain committed to showing our support and encouragement for those that were injured or lost a loved one. What’s clear is that the bravery and tenacity exhibited in the moments following last year’s events are attributes that continue to define our community today. That’s what we seek to honor at this event.”
Because of space restrictions, access to the Hynes Convention Center will be by invitation only. More details on the event, including a list of speakers and other program elements, logistics for the public, and media access will be released at a later date.