The traditions that have defined the Boston Marathon for 118 years — a joyous holiday for the city, thousands of triumphant runners streaking or limping across the finish line — will wait a week.
First, on Tuesday, Boston will pause for one somber day to observe what happened exactly one year earlier, when two bombs detonated seconds apart, shattering tradition, glass and bodies.
“I think it’s going to be a difficult day for a lot of people,” Boston Mayor Martin Walsh told NBC News on Monday.
Walsh, Vice President Joe Biden and Gov. Deval Patrick and will speak at a commemoration at a convention center not far from the finish line on Boylston Street.
“Though we all had our lives affected in profoundly different ways, this tribute will show the world again that we stand as one,” Patrick said in a ceremony announcing the event earlier this year.
They will be joined by first responders and survivors of the marathon, a term that took a new and tragic meaning after the blasts on April 15, 2013.
The service will conclude on Boylston Street, over a half-hour that includes the time the bombs went off, with a moment of silence and a flag-raising. There will be no speakers there.