One Boston Day: City Observes Anniversary of Marathon Tragedy While ‘Standing Apart'

The best way to be Boston Strong on One Boston Day is to stay home and continue social distancing amid the coronavirus crisis, Mayor Marty Walsh said

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Boston on Wednesday marked the seventh anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings, but without in-person events to reflect on the tragedy.

Dubbed One Boston Day, the anniversary is typically marked by gatherings and service projects aimed at honoring the victims of the bombing and reflecting on the city's resiliency in its aftermath.

Seven years after the marathon bombings rocked Boston, bells rang to mark the anniversary on the annual day of service.

Instead, there were traditions old and new.

At 2:49 p.m., the Old South Church -- located near the race's finish line -- rang its bells to commemorate those lost in the bombings, as it does each year. But there weren't the usual gatherings nearby.

Despite social distancing, the Old South Church's bells still rang at 2:49 p.m. to commemorate those lost during the Boston Marathon bombings.

At 7:30 p.m., Boston's police, fire and EMS departments set off on a "cavalcade" in which a long line of vehicles paraded by many of the area's biggest health care centers: Boston Medical Center, Tufts, Mass General Hospital, St Elizabeth’s, Beth Israel Deaconess, Children’s, Brigham & Women’s and the Carney.

The blocks-long procession was greeted by a cheering crowd at at least one hospital, a salute of one set of front-line workers to another.

Flashing sirens of the One Boston Day first responder cavalcade light up the streets of Boston on the evening of Wednesday, April 15, 2020.

This year, Mayor Marty Walsh had encouraged people to stay home and practice social distancing because of the coronavirus crisis that Boston, Massachusetts and the rest of the country are contending with.

He even hosted an online interfaith prayer service at 2 p.m. that was streamed on the city's website and local cable access channels.

"This is a 'One Boston' moment," Walsh said at a news conference earlier Wednesday. "We're in the most vulnerable part in the outbreak with cases surging to a peak in the next two weeks."

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is encouraging people to stay at home on One Boston Day and practice social distancing amid the coronavirus outbreak. Walsh is holding an online interfaith prayer service Wednesday.

Slowing the spread of the virus "takes every single one of us to act for the greater good every single day," he said.

Walsh asked people to reflect on the work of those on the front lines of the pandemic and reach out to people who are at higher risk, such as elderly people and those with underlying health conditions.

The cavalcade is meant to honor medical staff for all they are doing to help the city amid the pandemic.

Because in-person events were not held this year, Walsh encouraged Bostonians to share their reflections on the meaning of One Boston Day on social media, using the hashtag #OneBostonDay.

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