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Boston Marathon Victims Gather to Finish Last Mile

CNN

CNN

The horrific bombing at the 2013 Boston Marathon shook the foundation of our nation’s core. It had families coming together and represented one of America’s worst tragedies on one of its most hallowed afternoons.

But after Saturday, folks can always say terrorism could not stop them from finishing the Boston Marathon.

As noted by a Boston.com report, over 2,000 bombing victims and runners came back on Saturday to finish their Boston Marathon run. The gathering brought those athletes and victims of the tragedy together, leading to a triumphant celebration of life as all crossed the finish line.

The impetus to run the final mile came from a group called OneRun, which was represented by spokesperson Kathleen McGonagle on Saturday. Tom Grilk, the executive director of the Boston Athletic Association, organized an effort to give runners and those looking to honor victims a true Boston Marathon experience.

“The opportunity to run down Boylston Street and to cross the finish line amid thousands of spectators is a significant part of the entire Boston Marathon experience,” said Grilk.

The one-mile run began at Kenmore Square and ended at the official finish line, where on April 15, two bombs went off near the Boylston Street endpoint. The two explosions injured 264 people and killed three: eight-year-old Dorchester native Martin Richard, 29-year-old Krystle Campbell of Arlington and Boston University graduate student Lingzi Lu.

On April 22, criminal charges were filed against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev following a dangerous spree of crimes that included a shootout with police in Watertown, Mass. His brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the other suspect in the bombings, died during an overnight shootout with police.

In the time since the bombings, the sports world and United States as a whole have rallied around Boston and its “Boston Strong” slogan. The NHL and the Boston Bruins donated $250,000 on behalf of the One Boston Fund. The Boston Red Sox and Major League Baseball raised $646,500, while the NFL, NFLPA and New England Patriots made a $1 million donation together.

While there were corporate sponsors covering Saturday’s run and leftover funds to be donated to victims, one could argue that running in and of itself was the most important thing here. It showed that this horrific incident would not hold people back from their goal of finishing the Boston Marathon and that the city would emerge stronger and better.

There aren’t many times in the sports world where we can all root for the same team, but those runners hugging and celebrating those lost or injured in April is something we can all stand and applaud.

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