Twenty-year-old Steve Lyons stood in a growing crowd on the corner of Boylston and Berkeley Streets on Monday afternoon, an American flagged draped around his shoulders.
"It's a big healing process that's gone on for a week and I think it's amazing what the city has done. We were strong before, and we're even tougher now," said Lyons, a Fisher College student who lives on Beacon Street. "I think it's amazing how all these people are out here now, and helping the families heal."
Lyons was one of the thousands to gather near the site of the Boston Marathon bombings Monday afternoon. As the clock struck 2:50 p.m., a somber silence spread throughout the crowd, and presumably the rest of the city, and state.
For 10 minutes, wind and the occasional honk of a horn were the only sounds to cross the intersection. Around 3 p.m., as the bellow of church bells subtly rang through the city, hums of "America the Beautiful" could be heard emerging from small patches in the crowd.
By 3:01 p.m., police officers laid on the sirens, drawing excited cheers from the crowd.
"It's unbelievable, they did an awesome job," said Lyon, commending local and state law enforcement. "I've been shaking (police officers') hands every chance I get."
Jamie Gosselin, a Boston EMT, stood against a nearby fence as the crowd began to disperse.
"It's my city. It's my race and as a runner that was my family. So it was extremely important for me to come out and pay my respects," she said.
"I'm not surprised by the turnout. people keep saying they' re surprised by how much the city has come together and how strong we are, but that's something I've always known about my city," said Gosselin.
Walid Sharara, a Boston Marathon Runner, said he was fortunate enough to finish Monday's race two minutes before the twin blasts went off. "The police and the first responders ... I just want to pay my respect to the city of Boston. I think we did a great job of marking the event with grace more than anything else, and solidarity."
Feeling safe one week later:
Joe Stoller sat in the South Station concourse Tuesday, reading a Metro Boston newspaper. When asked if he feels safe being out and about in Boston just one week after Monday's brutal attack, Stoller said that while he feels safe, he's on high alert.
"It seems like things are under control, but I've definitely got to keep my eyes open when I'm out and about, especially in South Station. ... It could happen again today is the sad part, and you'd never know," he said. "I'm not going to let anybody change how I live my life. It's sad what transpired. All you can do is watch the news and find out what's going on now. If there is anyone connected to them hopefully we get them."
Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
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