U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday said the courage displayed at last year's deadly Boston Marathon bombings was an inspiration for all Americans coping with tragedy.
Biden spoke at a memorial service for the victims of the attack. Church bells tolled at the precise time the first bomb exploded at the race’s finish line April 15, 2013 killing three people and wounding more than 250 others. Four survivors who also spoke at the tribute were hailed by Biden for showing "pure courage."
In Washington President Obama observed the anniversary with a moment of silence at the White House.
Two pressure-cooker devices allegedly hidden in backpacks by two brothers of Chechen descent, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his 20-year-old brother, Dzhokhar, sent metal fragments through the crowd of bystanders. Several people lost limbs. Marc Fucarile lost his right leg from above the knee.
“I woke up on the ground with the firefighter on me putting a tourniquet on my legs,” he said.
He sustained other shrapnel wounds could still lose his left leg.
Another bombing survivor, Roseann Sdoia, lost the bottom of her right leg in the bombing and says she wishes the tragedy had never happened.
“I don’t think anybody knows what they’re capable of doing until you’re forced to be in it. And, you know, I think most people would want to get back to normal. I want to be pre-April 15th,” she said.
The blasts set off a multi-day manhunt that ended with Tamerlan Tsarnaev dead from a shootout with police and Dzhokhar being arrested in a Boston suburb. He is due to go on trial in November on 30 federal charges and will face the death penalty. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
As for the Boston Marathon, a tradition that dates to 1897, it will be held Monday with an expanded field of about 36,000 runners, some 9,000 more than in 2013.
Organizers have boosted security, with cameras installed along the route and thousands of police and hundreds of National Guard troops set to be deployed in the area.