One year after the Boston Marathon bombings killed those three spectators and injured more than 260 others, about 3,000 invited guests will assemble in Boston's Hynes Convention Center for an official tribute featuring Vice President Joe Biden. The attendees will likely be joined by millions watching the event live online and on various cable news channels. It'll be a solemn reflection and tribute to the victims whose lives were taken on that day, those who have had to reconstruct their own sense of normalcy and the family members and first responders who found strength in the most adverse circumstances.
But this ceremony is just the beginning. In six days, about 36,000 entrants – nearly 10,000 more than last year – will compete in the 118th edition of the race.
They'll be met near the finish line by Jeff Bauman, who lost his legs in the blast, and Carlos Arredondo, the "man in the cowboy hat," who saved his life.
Somewhere in attendance, there will be newlyweds Marc Fucarile and Jen Regan, who will get married at Fenway Park on Thursday. The tale of how they got there is truly incredible.
There will be Celeste Corcoran, a mother of two from nearby Lowell who ran on her new prosthetic legs for the first time in January. She's been given an honorary bib and has been training to take the final yards of this year's race.
Tuesday's event will be the appropriate moment of reflection and tribute to loss and resilience in the face of tragedy. But as nearly one million expected spectators emerge into the city over the weekend, joining the first responders, survivors, runners and average citizens, the phrase which has appeared all over town for the past year will never be more applicable.