Boston will mark the second anniversary of the 2013 marathon bombings Wednesday with a subdued remembrance that includes a moment of silence, the pealing of church bells and a call for kindness.
Mayor Marty Walsh and other officials will raise commemorative banners on Boylston Street early Wednesday. A moment of silence follows at 2:49 p.m., marking the time the first of two bombs exploded near the finish line April 15, 2013. Church bells will then ring throughout the city.
Walsh has also declared April 15 "One Boston Day," a new tradition meant to honor the city's resilience and spread goodwill.
"April 15 is a date that has come to stand for our city's deepest values," Walsh has said. "One Boston Day will inspire all of us to come together as the community we are and share the spirit of Boston by giving back."
The relatively modest remembrance comes in contrast to 2014's commemoration of the attacks, which killed three people and injured more than 260 others.
Survivors, first responders and thousands of others gathered at the marathon finish line, and Vice President Joe Biden, at an earlier event, declared: "We are Boston. We are America. We respond. We endure. We overcome. And we own the finish line."
The new One Boston Day is partly inspired by survivors of the attacks, many of whom are now doing charitable works.
Liz Norden, a Stoneham resident whose two adult sons - J.P. and Paul - each lost a leg in the attack, has set up a nonprofit called A Leg Forever to help other amputees pay for costs that insurance won't cover. She says the work has been therapeutic.
"My boys had so much help from the generosity of people from everywhere," Norden said this week. "If you lose your leg to a horrific accident, you don't have the media coverage or the resources that my family was so blessed to have. So it's important that we try to help other amputees that don't have that."
People are encouraged to share their random acts of kindness using the Twitter hashtag OneBostonDay. The city has also launched a website.
An elementary school in Reading says students will be writing thank-you letters to local police and fire departments. The Hyatt Regency Boston will be accepting donations of new or gently worn men's sneakers for St. Francis House, a Boston homeless shelter.
Jurors in the trial of marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, meanwhile, have been warned to avoid anniversary events and this year's race. The Boston Marathon - one of the world's premier running events - takes place April 20; the penalty phase in Tsarnaev's trial begins the next day.
The jury has already convicted Tsarnaev of all 30 charges against him. In the next phase, they weigh sentencing the 21-year-old ethnic Chechen to death or life in prison.
Norden says nothing short of execution is warranted.
"He destroyed so many families that day," she said. "I want the ultimate justice."