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Boston In Collective Mourning After Marathon Attack


Organizers gave that service in Boston a title: Healing Our City. Thousands of people took part both inside the cathedral and outside.

NPR's Jeff Brady spoke with Bostonians about this moment of collective remembrance.

JEFF BRADY, BYLINE: A theme emerged during the service, expressed here by Rev. Nancy Taylor.

THE REV. NANCY TAYLOR: We are shaken, but we are not forsaken. Another's hate will not make of us haters.

BRADY: Inside the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, about 2,000 seats were available. Many more lined up outside - some, before dawn - hoping to get in. Across the city, people tuned in to the service wherever they happened to be at 11 a.m. And just a few blocks from the cathedral, officers broadcast President Obama's speech over their police radio.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Your commonwealth is with you. Your country is with you. We will all be with you as you learn to stand...

BRADY: Robert Gallo is with the nearby Peabody Police Department, which was called in to help Boston during the service.

ROBERT GALLO: He's speaking to everyone that's probably hurting right now. And I think a lot of people need to hear that, especially from the commander in chief.

BRADY: Near the front door of the cathedral, Chauni Haslet and her husband, Bill, were here from Seattle. Their daughter and son-in-law were injured while watching the marathon.

CHAUNI HASLET: She has had to have her leg amputated a few inches below the knee. Our son-in-law is - has had a couple of operations; removing shrapnel from both of his legs, and a broken bone in one foot; and he will need skin grafts in the future. But both of them are alive.

BRADY: Haslet says the city has shown her nothing but kindness. She says a taxi driver refused to let her pay a fare. She's trying to be optimistic about her daughter and son-in-law's future.

HASLET: They're both young. They're both strong. And...

BILL HASLET: Very strong.

HASLET: ...I think they will be known in the future as some very capable survivors who will make the best out of this terrible tragedy.

BRADY: Haslet hugged two firefighters, thanking them for their service.

MICHAEL DOHERTY: I've got a lot of waves and a lot of thank yous and stuff, yeah.

BRADY: Boston Fire Chief Michael Doherty stood in the back of the cathedral, and said this service will help the city heal. Michael Ward, a childhood friend and fellow firefighter, was with him. On Monday, Ward was a spectator, watching the marathon until the second explosion hit.

MICHAEL WARD: I was mass triaging, and I didn't really think about it - one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight - I don't know - nine. It was instant, just trying to separate the worst from the people who might stand a chance to survive.

BRADY: Ward appeared to choke up when talking about Martin Richard, the boy who was one of the three fatalities.

WARD: Thought little Martin was going to make it.

BRADY: One way people are healing from this tragedy is talking about their stories, and this event was just one opportunity to do that as this city mourns.

Jeff Brady, NPR News, Boston.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Jeff Brady is a National Desk Correspondent based in Philadelphia, where he covers energy issues and climate change. Brady helped establish NPR's environment and energy collaborative which brings together NPR and Member station reporters from across the country to cover the big stories involving the natural world.
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