Boston Marathon Memorial opens at Public Library - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

Boston Marathon Memorial opens at Public Library

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BOSTON (WHDH) - Running shoes, letters, and other items left at the memorial on Boylston Street after the Marathon bombings are now on display at the Boston Public Library.

The emotional exhibit opened Monday, featuring the tributes to the victims of the attack.

As the first anniversary of the bombing approaches, hundreds of items in the make-shift memorial on Boylston Street are on display, including 150 pairs of sneakers from the runners and crosses memorializing the bombing victims and MIT officer Sean Collier.

“It’s an incredible exhibit here. I just lost my breath when we walked in,” said Sarah Carroll, a BAA volunteer.

The items in the library are just some of what comprised a makeshift memorial that popped up in Copley Square in the days following the bombing. Mementos and messages from that memorial are carefully arranged in the exhibit, called “Dear Boston.”

“We had to walk by everything we are looking at, every day. The front of our building was part of the crime scene, so watching everything frozen in time was hard and it made a huge hole in my heart,” said Paula Kubisek, who visited the exhibit.

The items represent only a fraction of the thousands of items left at the memorial. The curator said the exhibit was a way for visitors to explore their deep and complex emotions from an experience that gripped the city.

“Here at the one-year anniversary, we are really hoping that this exhibition can be a way for people to heal, reflect, and to come together and hopefully when they leave, to be able to look forward, to turn the corner,” said Rainey Tisdale, curator of the exhibit.

The Dear Boston exhibit opened at 11 a.m. Monday and will be on display through May 11 during regular library hours, free of charge.

A formal ceremony kicked off the opening of the exhibit on Monday morning, led by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey also attended.

For the exhibit’s first viewers, the ceremony was very moving. Teresa Peazur came to see the memorial because she wasn’t able to see it last year. It had been removed from Copley Square by the time she traveled to Boston to bring her daughter back to school in the fall.

“I'm glad that the people who pulled it all together kept it together so that everyone can come and see it…Just hearing the stories and getting the phone call from your daughter so far away, ‘mom, I'm okay.’ You know, it was hard. I'm glad they kept it. People need to remember,” Peazur said.

7’s Byron Barnett reported that only a very small portion of the items that seen in Copley Square last year are actually at the exhibit. There are too many to put them on display. Other items, filling 286 boxes, remain in storage in Northborough.

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