Park Honoring 8-Year-Old Killed in Marathon Bombings Opens in Boston

The park officially opens Saturday with a ceremony scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.

A new park honoring the youngest victim of the Boston Marathon bombings opens in the Seaport District on Saturday.

Martin's Park, located at the Smith Family Waterfront, honors 8-year-old Martin Richard, of Dorchester, who was killed in the 2013 bombing.

The park officially opened Saturday with a ceremony that began at 11 a.m.

The Richard family, Gov. Charlie Baker and Mayor Marty Walsh were in attendance, as well as hundreds of people from the community. 

The festivities will include family entertainment, food trucks and activities throughout the day.

Richard's brother and sister are in a band together that will be performing. His brother, Henry, reflected on the importance of the day.

"It's very meaningful because this park is a very meaningful representation of the message of inclusion and peace, and it's a great opportunity to play here. It'll be a very nice day."

The $15 million park took two years to build and is adjacent to the Boston Children's Museum. It features a reflection and water play garden, an amphitheater, a ship and a cosmo climber, which was Richard's favorite.

John McKay worked tirelessly with his team to construct the ship, amphitheater and play garden that fill this one-of-a-kind park.

"We were lucky enough to be selected to build it," he said. "This isn't a typical park. There's nature, play elements of all different kinds. I think the uniqueness really speaks out and obviously the meaning. Martin Richard says it all right there. I think that's what separates it from everything else."

Walsh said Friday that a lot of thoughtfulness has been put into the park.

"It's a beautiful park. We watched it come together. The workers who worked on that park treated it as if it was their own backyard. There's a lot of special attention and care to that park."

And while it will be a day of honoring and celebrating Richard, Walsh says it will also be a tough day for his family and the community as they remember Richard.

"It's going to be a very special day. It's going to be very emotional for the Richard family, and emotional for a lot of people," Walsh said.

The park will be maintained through an endowment of the Friends of Martin's Park and will feature ongoing, no-cost programming.

Martin was one of three people killed when two bombs exploded at the finish line. His younger sister, Jane, lost a leg.

After the bombing, a widely circulated photo showed Martin holding a poster he created with the message, "No more hurting people—peace."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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