City Unveils ‘Honor Banners’ at Marathon Finish Line

Two special signs were put up outside of Marathon Sports, and hundreds more will go up around the city.

Photo by Michelle Goldstein

Photo by Michelle Goldstein

It’s almost been a year since two bombs went off near the Boston Marathon finish line on Boylston Street, claiming the lives of three people and injuring hundreds of others. And to make sure that those who were impacted by the April 15, 2013, attack are not forgotten as this year’s Marathon gets underway, city officials and race organizers hung two special “Honor Banners” at the route’s end “as a tribute to all those affected.”

During a brief ceremony on Thursday afternoon, Mayor Marty Walsh, four-time Boston Marathon champion Bill Rodgers, and Marathon Sports manager Shane O’Hara unveiled the new design for the more than 500 banners that will go up to prepare for, and promote, this year’s historic event.

They also showed off a pair of “Honor Banners,” which they strung up outside of Marathon Sports, the spot where one of the bombs exploded last year. The two signs feature hearts with the word “Boston” in the middle, with two tracks leading up to the word. They are printed on yellow, one the main colors used for last year’s race. The remaining banners, like previous years, carry the theme of “We Run Together,” which highlights the importance of many different communities of people coming together to make the race what it is, according to a press release from John Hancock, which sponsors the Boston Marathon.

“The Boston Marathon street banners mark the kick-off of a world-class event the city of Boston is so proud to host,” said Walsh. “This year, we have the opportunity to reflect and draw inspiration from the strength and courage of all those affected by last year’s tragedy.”

The banners typically go up a month before race day, and come down a week after the event has concluded. Then, organizers collect the banners and use them for various events. In a twist, however, John Hancock representatives removed last year’s banners and cut them up, creating tiny commemorative bracelets for this year’s massive group of runners.

Come Marathon Monday, more than 36,000 race participants will be given the special wristbands created from the banners. A limited supply will be available to the general public, with proceeds going to the One Fund.

Photo by Michelle Goldstein

Photo by Michelle Goldstein

Photo by Michelle Goldstein

Photo by Michelle Goldstein

Photo by Michelle Goldstein

Photo by Michelle Goldstein

Photo by Michelle Goldstein

Photo by Michelle Goldstein

Photo by Michelle Goldstein

Photo by Michelle Goldstein

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  • Mags

    It occurs to me that the more we feed into it, the more it encourages the acts in the first place. While an acknowledgement is in order, I think the number of photo ops staged around the mere mention of the Marathon hints at insincerity.

    Am I the ONLY one in this city who feels that quietly moving on is the most dignified thing to do?