In many respects, those most affected by the events of two years ago have shown us all the way back — with their courage, grace and determination.
BOSTON — The second anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings brought together survivors and rescuers Wednesday as the city marked the day with a moment of silence, the tolling of church bells and a call for kindness.
Church bells tolled at 2:49 p.m., the time the first bomb went off at the race's finish line, where many people gathered to observe the moment.
Three people were killed and more than 260 others were injured when the bombs exploded April 15, 2013.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and the family of the youngest bombing victim, 8-year-old Martin Richard, observed the moment in a ceremony at City Hall Plaza.
Gov. Charlie Baker and other top state officials formed a circle in Memorial Hall at the Statehouse, joined by some state workers and a few tourists.
The Boston Red Sox and the Washington Nationals paused their afternoon baseball game at Fenway Park.
Earlier Wednesday, Walsh, Baker and other officials unveiled commemorative banners at the site of the blasts on Boylston Street, with the plaintive wail of bagpipes in the background. The orange banners bear a white heart with a road receding into the distance and the word "Boston."
"In many respects, those most affected by the events of two years ago have shown us all the way back — with their courage, grace and determination," Baker said in a statement. "They honor the past, remember and treasure loved ones lost and injured, and look forward to a better future. We should strive to do the same."
The four banners were mounted on light poles wrapped in blue and yellow flowers, the marathon's colors.
Jane Richard, who lost her 8-year-old brother, Martin, in the blasts, which also took her leg, helped unveil one set of banners. The Richard family walked down Boylston Street with Walsh at the ceremony honoring victims and survivors.
Jeff Bauman, who lost his legs above the knee in the blasts, exchanged a big hug with Carlos Arredondo, who helped save his life two years ago. Bauman was able to describe to police one of the two brothers accused of carrying out the attack.
"We're here to pay tribute to the people who lost their lives," Bauman told WFXT-TV.
He also threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Red Sox-Nationals game.
Walsh declared April 15 "One Boston Day," a new tradition in which Bostonians are encouraged to show kindness and generosity.
Surviving bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 21, was convicted last week of 30 counts at his federal trial, and jurors will soon decide whether he should be sentenced to life in prison or to death. His older brother, Tamerlan, died following a shootout with police days after the attacks.