BOSTON — After the twin bombings at the Boston Marathon last April, mourners began leaving thousands of items at a makeshift memorial near the finish line to honor the victims of the attacks.
Some left teddy bears, signs and marathon bibs, while others draped running sneakers to commemorate the three people killed and more than 260 injured during the April 15 attack. A cross was set up for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer fatally shot three days later amid a search for the bombing suspects.
To mark the anniversary of the bombings, the material will be curated into an exhibit called "Dear Boston: Messages from the Marathon Memorial." It will be hosted by the Boston Public Library from April 7 until May 11.
Among the numerous heartfelt messages left at Copley Square was one from a Sandy Hook mother that reads, "We understand. Sending love and support." Other notes urged resilience: "Don't let this stop you. Stay Boston Strong" and "We will run again."
One colorful sign had more than 10 towns in Massachusetts forming the shape of a heart, saying "Stands with Boston!!!" underneath. And multiple messages of "I love my city" and "Boston Strong" memorabilia were scattered throughout the square.
Messages were sent from across the world, including Israel, South Korea, Turkey and Venezuela.
But the long-term home for these artifacts is still in flux. Until then, any paper tributes will be held in the Boston archives and the other artifacts will be kept in storage.