Paying Tribute: Physical and Musical Marathon Memorials
From Meghna Chakrabarti:
It’s been two weeks since police arrested suspected Marathon Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Two weeks, that in many ways, have felt like an eternity for this city. Since those bombs exploded on Boylston street, time has stretched and collapsed, blurred and stood still. When I step away from this microphone and my work, I admit, there have been moments where it’s been hard to find my bearings.
That is one of the reasons why I hadn’t yet been able to bring myself to go to the informal Marathon memorial that is growing in Copley Square.
Well, on Friday, I went.
Copley was beautiful. Clear blue sky. Steady drone of traffic. The occasional siren. The hum workers dodging around milling tourists. Life was beautifully, breathtakingly, defiantly normal. A striking comparison to the atrocious abnormality that we’ve experienced in the past weeks.
Maybe it was that. The tenacity of life, and the love, fellowship, and downright optimism evident in that memorial — the hundreds of pairs of shoes, the stuffed animals, the flowers, and the handwritten notes from visitors who come to Boston from around the world — all of that, made my half hour there more emotional than I could have imagined.
Here’s my little audio postcard from an afternoon in Copley Square.
As the official investigation into the Boston Marathon bombings continues, communities seek to find their own answers; their own understanding of what happened on April 15th. The musical community, both here in Boston and beyond, has taken that search online — posting tribute songs that remember, memorialize and comfort.
Tributes follow tragedy. Bruce Springsteen released a well-received 9/11 tribute album, “The Rising,” less than a year after the attacks, while relief concerts in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Sandy offered venues for multiple artists to contribute to the healing process.
But our guest John Covach notes, in the age of social media and digital recordings, crowd-sourced tribute songs provide a venue for anyone willing to sing. We listened to a few of the many Boston tributes out there. Listen for yourself below.
Other stories from this show:
WBUR's Sacha Pfeiffer is co-hosting Radio Boston while Meghna Chakrabarti is on maternity leave.
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