Marathon Bombing Exhibition Opening in Boston, but Memorial’s Fate Still Uncertain

People attend the Boston Marathon memorial exhibition, "Dear Boston: Messages from the Marathon Memorial." Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images.

As the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings approaches, the spontaneous memorial left by mourners at the race’s finish line will be the subject of an exhibition at the Boston Public Library, reports the Boston Globe and Associated Press. Three people were killed and 264 were injured in the attack on April 15, 2013.

“Dear Boston: Messages from the Marathon Memorial” (April 7–May 11) is expected to include hundreds of items, including 150 pairs of running shoes and some of the posters, letters, and notes offering messages of hope and solidarity from sympathetic souls from all around the world.

Northeastern University has created an online catalogue of scanned letters and notes, with 18,000 addressed to the mayor’s office alone. The project will soon expand to include photos of larger items such as T-shirts, flags, and stuffed animals.

An assortment of volunteers, archivists, private businesses, and other donors have assisted with cleaning, fumigating, and storing the materials since the memorial was dismantled in June, but a long-term home for most of the items has yet to be identified. The letters will be held at the Boston City Archives and will be viewable online or by appointment.

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