It has been one year since twin bombs exploded near the finish line of the annual Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring more than 260 others. On Tuesday, the large city in the northeastern part of the United States paused to honor the victims and salute the emergency workers who came to their assistance in the frantic moments after the blasts.
The horrific events of April 15, 2013, are clear in the minds of thousands of marathon runners, Boston residents and Americans throughout the country. The shocking blasts were sudden - two home-made pressure cooker bombs filled with nails and other shrapnel tore through the runners finishing the race and the crowd of spectators cheering them on from the sidelines.
But now, a year later, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said at a memorial in Boston that the city's resilience is a symbol of Americans' will to gain new strength in the face of adversity, much like when the U.S. was hit by terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
"You have become the face of America's resolve, not unlike what happened on 9/11. You've become the face of America's resolve, for the whole world to see," he said.
One of the bombing victims who lost a leg in the explosions, dancer Adrianne Haslet-Davis, said survivors have provided support for each other as they recovered from their injuries.
"We find peace in providing a shoulder to cry on, a warm embrace and a hand to hold in the crowd," she said.
Authorities are planning a massive display of security next Monday to protect 36,000 runners and hundreds of thousands of spectators at the 2014 Boston Marathon. Biden said the 118th running of the race will show the world - and would-be terrorists - that the U.S. does not back down when it is attacked.
"America will never, ever, ever stand down. We are Boston. We are America. We respond. We endure. We overcome and we own the finish line," Biden said.
Police say that two ethnic Chechen brothers who had lived in the United States for a decade, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, carried the bombs in backpacks to the Boston street near the finish line before detonating them. Days later, Tamerlan was killed in a gun battle with police and Dzhokhar was found hiding in a boat parked in the backyard of a suburban Boston home. Authorities say he left a hand-scrawled confession inside the boat that said the bombings were retaliation for the U.S. killing of Muslims in American-led wars overseas.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, now 20, is in a U.S. prison. He is awaiting trial on multiple charges, including use of a weapon of mass destruction, that carry the death penalty if he is convicted.