Boston Marathon Bombing Survivors Commemorate A Year Since The Attacks

Photographer Robert X. Fogarty is helping survivors tell their stories and encouraging them to treat the finish line as a place of healing…


by Sophie Wilkinson |
Published on

15 April marks one year since the bombing of the Boston Marathon. The bombs, placed near the finish line by Chechen brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, detonated and killed three people, injuring a further 264 others. Later, on the run from the police, the brothers shot and killed police officer Sean Collier.

As the largest terrorist attack since 9/11, the event shook America. Now, to remember those who died and were left injured by the attack, photographer Robert X. Fogarty has asked people who were present at the time of the tragedy to return to the finish line to pose for photos to reclaim it as a place of healing.

Posing with messages such as, ‘still standing’, ‘less leg more heart’, ‘never be ashamed’ and ‘love is stronger than terror’, as well as messages to remember those who lost their lives: Krystle Campbell, Martin Richard, Lu Lingzi and Sean Collier, the participants intended to show that they have not been undone by what happened last year.


The photos, hosted on Dear World, a site which sets out to tell the stories of survivors, come with messages from those pictured. Sydney Corcoran’s photo is accompanied by the text, ‘My name is Sydney Corcoran, I am 18 years old, and I live in Lowell, MA. My message was, “You Can Scar Me, But You Cannot Stop Me.” I think that everyone has scars, and we should embrace them. I’ve learned that we can overcome the obstacles that gave those scars to us.

‘It was really hard to think about coming back to the finish line. I would have anxiety and I would be nervous to come back. I would always find a reason not to return. Now, my first time coming back is doing it with Dear World. I don’t think it could have gone any better. I’m so glad my first experience back was with you guys, because it allowed me to take back this place in a happy way.’


Sydney’s mother Celeste was also injured in the attack, and is now a double-amputee. Her speech reads, ‘I’m Celeste Corcoran from Lowell, Massachusetts. My message is, “Still Standing.” I wrote still standing because the bombers hurt me – they took my legs – but I can still stand on them. I just love the play on the message. Writing it on my naked legs, seeing those words and having the prosthetics next to me. I’m still standing.

‘To be a part of something like Dear World, to be asked to be a part of this, it gives me energy. This is the first time that I was back at the finish line. I had never been back, and this was about reclaiming it. That finish line has been a negative space since the marathon. This was about reclaiming that space in a positive way. I chose to be there. I took back control. I chose to do this and the heck with everyone body else. It’s creating new memories.’

Tamerlan Tsarnaev died in a stand-off with police and younger brother Dzhokhar will stand trial in November.

Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophwilkinson

Pictures: Dear World

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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