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'WE BOUNCE BACK'
Three days before the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing, thousands crowd the race's finish line on Boylston Street on April 12, 2014, for a Sports Illustrated cover shoot. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Boston Police Commissioner William Evans joined the moment, as did survivor Marc Fucarile, who told the media there, "We are strong, we bounce back no matter what."
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STRENGTH IN NUMBERS
The Sports Illustrated cover, out April 16, shows the more than 3,000 enthusiastic Bostonians who came out for the big moment. In an essay in the issue, Red Sox player David Ortiz writes, "If I had to make a speech this year on Patriots' Day, I'd say, 'God continue to bless America.' Because even though it began with so much pain and tragedy, the last 12 months have been a blessing."
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A WALK TO REMEMBER
Rebekah Gregory and Pete DiMartino were standing at the finish line of the Marathon on April 15, 2013, watching Pete's mom run. Gravely injured in the blast, they spent weeks in separate hospitals before reuniting in July 2013 – and just three months later, Pete proposed. On April 4, 2014, they said "I do" in a dream wedding thrown by TheKnot.com, and Rebekah – who has recovered well but still faces a leg amputation later this year – even managed to walk down the aisle.
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DANCING THROUGH LIFE
Despite losing part of her left leg in the bombings, dancer Adrianne Haslet-Davis vowed she'd dance again. She did just that on March 19, 2014, performing at the 2014 TED Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, donning a prosthetic leg to twirl across the dance floor with partner Christian Lightner. "I knew that I had to [dance again]," she said, "and here I am."
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ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE
There was indeed a silver lining to survivor James Costello's harrowing Boston Marathon experience: He's now engaged to the nurse who treated his burns. Costello proposed to Krista D'Agostino in December 2013, while the two were on a cruise with other first responders and survivors in France. "I now realize why I was involved in the tragedy," he wrote on Facebook when announcing the news. "It was to meet my best friend, and the love of my life."
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Jeff Bauman's image became one of the most memorable from the marathon, after the AP snapped him being rushed away in a wheelchair following the blasts (he later helped ID the suspects, too). Today, he's recovering, engaged to longtime love Erin Hurley, and expecting a baby! "We've got a lot going on," he joked to the Associated Press. But for now, "I just want to be a good dad."
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By June 2013, 16 people had already lost limbs due to the bombings – but none of them lost hope. "It's been incredible to see their resilience," Dr. David Crandell of Massachusetts's Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital told PEOPLE of patients like Roseann Sdoia, who was profiled in the magazine. "There's no point in negativity," Sdoia said. "You just have to look forward and do the best you can."
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THIS LITTLE LIGHT
Runner Lizzie Lee joins mourners at a vigil in Boston Common on Tuesday, April 16, 2013. Lee was in the middle of her first Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, when two bombs exploded along the race route, killing three and injuring more than 270.
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NEW YORK MINUTE
Before their April 16, 2013, home game, New York Yankees players and fans pause for a moment of silence to honor the fallen. Later in the game, the crowd sang Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" – a Boston Red Sox staple – as did sports fans at several other ballparks around the country.
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SHARING THE PRIDE
Neighbors hug under a U.S. flag on April 16, 2013, as they arrive for a candlelight vigil in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, home to 8-year-old Martin Richard, one of three people killed in the blasts.
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Meanwhile, outside the Richards' house that same night, classmates, friends and grievers come together for a separate candlelight vigil.
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A SAD DAY
Flags fly at half-mast around the country on April 16, 2013, including outside Boston's Trinity Church, which stands just a few blocks from the site of the bombings.
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FILLED WITH LOVE
Bostonians pack the Arlington Street Church on April 16, 2013, during a moving interfaith service to honor the victims.
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UNITED WE STAND
Also sending love on April 16, 2013: a runner from Seattle, who hangs a Boston Red Sox logo at a Massachusetts Street sign in his hometown. "The world obviously needs to change," Boston native Mark Wahlberg told PEOPLE hours after the bombings. "If you think about all the events over the last couple years, if we can't protect our innocent women and children, then we have a serious problem."
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LOVE FROM AFAR
An Atlanta man holds an American flag as he stands outside the city's Big Peach Running Co. on April 16, 2013, after taking part in a moment of silence and memorial run in tribute to the Boston Marathon victims.
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THE MORNING AFTER
On April 16, 2013, Boston police officers keep the scene near Copley Square secure as the FBI continues its investigation of the explosion. Suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were later identified; Tamerlan died during a police encounter, while his younger brother, Dzhokhar, was apprehended after a tense, days-long manhunt in the Boston area. He's now imprisoned in a facility outside of Boston.
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Despite the police activity, mourners don't stop leaving flowers and messages for the victims at barricades near Boylston Street.
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IT'S A SIGN
At the Brooklyn Academy of Music the night of the bombings, few words are needed to show the sentiment New Yorkers send to their East Coast friends.
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MOMENT OF SILENCE
It was already a special day in baseball – Jackie Robinson Day – but the Monday-evening April 15, 2013, games, like this St. Louis Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Pirates matchup in Pennsylvania, had even more meaning when they began with a moment of silence in honor of the Boston victims.
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A CLEAR MESSAGE
A simple but powerful word marks the driveway of Martin Richard's house. Though dad Bill was unscathed, his wife, Denise, suffered a brain injury in the blast, and his daughter, then-7-year-old Jane, lost a leg. A third child, an older son, was reportedly not injured.
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Neighbors (and Boston Marathon runners, like Megan Cloke, pictured) deliver flowers and other stuffed animals to the Richard family home. "They are beloved by this community," said Ayanna Pressley, a city councilor at large. "They contribute in many ways. That's why you see this outpouring. It's surreal. It's tragic."
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THE FIRST BLAST
Flames erupt as the first explosion hits on a crowded corner of Boylston Street. "It was so powerful that it almost blew my hat off my head," witness Brian Walker told PEOPLE. "It sounded like a cannon. You could feel the blasts hit your body."
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SEARCHING FOR ANSWERS
After being treated for her injuries, a shaken woman and her friend make their way to safety. "I saw horrific injuries," witness Walker told PEOPLE. "There were people who lost limbs and people who were bleeding all over the sidewalk. Like out of war zones."
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MOMENTS OF FEAR
Another victim is treated at the scene by two of Boston's finest. In a blog post Monday, April 15, 2013, comedian Patton Oswalt wrote of those who helped, "The vast majority stands against the darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil-doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak."
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RACE AGAINST TIME
Volunteers work to get another injured bystander to safety. Among those helping: former New England Patriot Joe Andruzzi, who was at the marathon on behalf of his charitable organization. When asked about the situation, he said in a statement, "The spotlight should remain firmly on the countless individuals – first responders, medics, EMTs, runners who crossed the finish line and kept on running straight to give blood – and the countless civilians who did whatever they could to save lives. They were the true heroes."
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A SHOW OF HANDS
"Pray for Boston" was a trending term on Twitter following the explosions, and one woman did just that last year on the city's Boylston Street, where the blasts took place.
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A tearful runner finds comfort following the drama. In the wake of the day's events, Google set up a Person Finder to help loved ones connect as phone service got spotty.
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HOPING FOR HELP
A young boy is wheeled to safety by doctors and first responders, a wrap around his ankle. "These kids were really badly hurt," trauma surgeon Dr. David Mooney of Boston Children's Hospital told PEOPLE. "They had soot all over their faces, burnt hair and burnt eyebrows and tourniquets on their legs that first responders had put there to save their lives and keep them from bleeding to death."
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Emergency personnel help a woman in need in the aftermath of the blasts. Speaking to PEOPLE after the event, Bostonian Jeff Chin said, "What you don't see on TV is how loud it was. Imagine there were hundreds of people just screaming at the top of their lungs, screaming so loud. It was piercing, just the terror that you could hear."
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THROWN BY THE BLAST
Runner Bill Iffrig, who was thrown to the ground by reverberations from the first blast, receives instructions from police. "My whole body was just crumpling," the then-78-year-old, who was only 15 feet from the finish line, told ABC News. "I thought this was going to be it. I thought this was my last trip. I had no idea what was going on."
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Following the first blast, two marathon officials run for cover. Triage tents set up near the finish line – intended for runners who'd just finished the race – immediately became makeshift emergency rooms as the number of explosion-related injuries rose.
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PLAN OF ACTION
Police and paramedics clear the area around the finish line, where the bombings occurred, and help the injured into ambulances. First responders and quick-thinking civilians were heralded for their heroic efforts throughout the terrifying afternoon.