To Boston, from NH, with love
BOSTON - Caitlin Capezzuto could have spent her school vacation far away from the scene of the deadly Boston Marathon bombings, but she didn't.
The 16-year-old from Nashua joined the many New Hampshire students and other Granite Staters visiting a makeshift memorial near the marathon finish. She said she was moved by the trio of crosses surrounded by flowers, teddy bears and other messages in memory of the three victims killed in the bombings.
"You can tell it's affected a lot of people, because there are a lot of people here," said Capezzuto, who visited Boston with her aunt and nephew Thursday while on break from Nashua High South.
Bedford residents Denis and Michelle Robinson brought their daughters, Gabrielle, 13, and Vivian, 8, to see the memorial near their hotel, The Fairmont Copley Plaza. The Robinsons had planned a brief stay in the city before the bombings.
"I think it's important to see that after a terrorist strike the city can come together and heal together. I think this is very important for our kids to see, too. They're not going to beat us," Michelle Robinson said.
Their daughter, Gabrielle, said she was moved by the message sent by the dozens of running shoes that dangle over the metal fencing surrounding the memorial. Some bore messages on the soles, including "Boston Strong" and "We Will Run Again."
She was also encouraged by the many people who rushed to help in the frantic moments after the April 15 attack.
"I think it's brought out the best in people because most people ran over instead of away. Most people helped instead of letting it happen. It's really nice to see everyone supporting Boston," Gabrielle said.
While many toured the memorial, others helped support the One Fund Boston by crowding into Marathon Sports, a store next to the bombing site that reopened Thursday, selling T-shirts to benefit the fund created to help the bombing victims.
At one point early Thursday afternoon, someone began tossing money from a window on Boylston Street, attracting crowds of visitors who grabbed the bills as they rained down onto the street.
Before the money began to fall, Jodie Lauria of Danville arrived with her 12-year-old twin daughters, Lucy and Zoey, both students on vacation from Timberlane Regional Middle School in Plaistow.
"It's really sad, but it's really good that people are being nice," Lucy said as she stood by a board filled with condolences and messages of hope.
Her sister agreed. "It's really powerful, but it's sad at the same time," Zoey said.
Lauria said she wanted her girls to realize that it's important not to give in and allow the terrorists to win.
But she said, "You've always got to be very aware of your surroundings and what's going on. These days you always have to look over your shoulder, no matter what."