Skip to main content

Boston Red Sox parade reclaims marathon finish line

By Michael Martinez and Marlena Baldacci, CNN
November 3, 2013 -- Updated 1614 GMT (0014 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Crowd and team sing "God Bless America" at finish line
  • Six months ago, terrorist bombers struck near the Boston Marathon finish line
  • But on Saturday, a Boston Red Sox player rests the World Series trophy on that line
  • Bostonians are cheering again on the finish line

Boston (CNN) -- Six months ago, the finish line of the Boston Marathon was a scene of smoke, blood and death.

On Saturday, tragedy became triumph when the victory parade of the World Series champions Boston Red Sox crossed the same line surrounded by crowds, which were expected to reach 1 million people over the entire celebration route.

What the Red Sox mean to Boston

In a crowning moment, Red Sox player Jonny Gomes rested the World Series trophy on the finish line, draped with a team jersey whose back declared "Boston Strong 617," the slogan created to overcome April's terror attacks.

Led by an announcer, the team and crowd sang "God Bless America" at the line, which remains painted on the street.

The championship parade marked the restoration of a city's soul, darkened during bombings that killed three people and wounded more than 260 others who gathered last spring to watch the marathon near the finish line.

Boston Red Sox players hold up the championship trophy after Game 6 of baseball's World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday, October 30, in Boston. The Red Sox defeated the Cardinals 6-1. Boston Red Sox players hold up the championship trophy after Game 6 of baseball's World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday, October 30, in Boston. The Red Sox defeated the Cardinals 6-1.
Photos: Boston celebrates World Series win
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
>
>>
Photos: Boston celebrates World Series win Photos: Boston celebrates World Series win
Marathon survivors celebrate Red Sox
Boston parade celebrates city's strength
Jon Lester: Not shaving anytime soon

But on Saturday, the pall cast over that line was vanquished.

A great American city found its spirit returned. And it rejoiced.

See the parade's best moments

"The last time I was standing on the streets of Boston was the day of the marathon, and I'd just like to say thank you to the Red Sox for bringing all these people back to the streets for something so great to celebrate," said parade attendee Laurie Delaney of Dedham, Massachusetts.

In fact, on the day of the bombings six months ago, Delaney was on Boylston Street where the explosions occurred, and earlier that day, she was at a Red Sox game.

Saturday's celebration was emotional, she said.

Every Bostonian attending the parade remembered where they were the day of the bombings. Ryan Sedlacek was in his Boston home less than a mile from the finish line.

"It doesn't fix what we went through, but it helps cover it up," Sedlacek said of the collective rejoicing.

What made the moment doubly triumphant was how the Boston Red Sox finished in last place in 2012.

In a city passionate about its baseball, the team went from worst to first, despite the attacks on the city. The Red Sox won the World Series on Wednesday night, defeating the St. Louis Cardinals. The team won it at home, in Fenway Park, the first time they've done so since 1918.

The victory seemed a godsend.

"It feels like it should have happened," Sedlacek said.

The Red Sox team met with bombing survivors over breakfast, just before the fanfare of vehicles and about two dozen amphibious duck boats began the motorcade at the team's stadium at 10 a.m. Saturday, said Heather Abbott, one of the survivors who attended the gathering.

The parade ended in the Charles River when the duck boats took to the water and motored along the shore.

CNN's Michael Martinez wrote from Los Angeles, and Marlena Baldacci and Alexandra Field contributed from Boston.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
December 24, 2014 -- Updated 0254 GMT (1054 HKT)
A decade on from devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the Red Cross' Matthias Schmale says that the lessons learned have made us safer.
December 24, 2014 -- Updated 0024 GMT (0824 HKT)
As soon as word broke that "The Interview" will hit some theaters, celebrations erupted across social media -- including from the stars of the film.
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 1844 GMT (0244 HKT)
Did a rogue hacker -- or the U.S. government -- cut the cord for the regime's Internet?
December 24, 2014 -- Updated 0106 GMT (0906 HKT)
Monaco's newborn royals, Princess Gabriella and Crown Prince Jacques Honore Rainier, posed for their first official photos with their parents.
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 1706 GMT (0106 HKT)
Tim Berners-Lee, the man credited with inventing the world wide web, gives a speech on April 18, 2012 in Lyon, central France, during the World Wide Web 2012 international conference on April 18, 2012 in Lyon.
What's next for the Internet? Acclaimed scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee shares his insights.
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 0822 GMT (1622 HKT)
The United States and North Korea have long been locked in a bitter cycle of escalating and deescalating tensions. But the current cyber conflict may be especially hard to predict.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 2100 GMT (0500 HKT)
A chilling video shows Boko Haram executing dozens of non-Muslims.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 1134 GMT (1934 HKT)
New planes, new flight tests ... but will we get cheaper airfares?
December 21, 2014 -- Updated 1746 GMT (0146 HKT)
The killing of two cops could not have happened at a worse time for a city embroiled in a public battle over police-community relations, Errol Louis says.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 0251 GMT (1051 HKT)
The gateway to Japan's capital, Tokyo Station, is celebrating its centennial this month -- and it has never looked better.
December 20, 2014 -- Updated 1621 GMT (0021 HKT)
Unicef has warned that more than 1.7 million children in conflict-torn areas of eastern Ukraine face an "extremely serious" situation.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 1701 GMT (0101 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT