Massachusetts marked one week since the Boston Marathon bombings with a statewide minute of silence. It took place at 2:50 this afternoon coinciding with the time the first bomb exploded near the finish line. Three people were killed and scores more wounded.
The doors of Saint Michael’s Cathedral in downtown Springfield were opened for people to come in and silently pray. The quiet contemplation was interrupted briefly by the gentle ringing of bells marking the end of the observance of a minute of silence.
Among the people praying was Sherri Wojcik who was wearing the blue and yellow jacket given to all official Boston Marathon runners this year. She said she came to the church because she wanted a sense of closure.
Wojcik, who is from Ware and ran the marathon as part of a group that raised money for a charity, said she definitely will run next year.
Margarita Monroe of Springfield was wearing a Red Sox jersey to show solidarity with the people of Boston.
Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno also took part in the silent observance.
Earlier in the day, a small group of people gathered in Court Square Park in downtown Springfield for a vigil in memory of the Boston bombing victims. There were songs and prayers.
Rev. Charla Kouadio of Christ Community Church in Chicopee talked about the emotions she felt after hearing the news about the bombing a week ago.
Kouadio led the the gathering in reciting the 23rd Psalm.
Also, Brother Johnnie Muhammad of Muhammad Mosque Number 13 in Springfield urged people to reject what he called “propaganda” about Islam.
The alleged bombers are from Chechnya, a majority Muslim former Soviet Republic long at odds with Russia. Law enforcement officials are reportedly exploring possible overseas extremist ties the suspects may have had.
Bob Kaye of Agawam said he came to the Springfield vigil because he wanted to show support for the victims and gratitude to law enforcement.
The vigil was organized by a coalition of grassroots social justice groups to bring about healing and to promote peace. It was inspired by 8- year -old Martin Richard, who died in the bombing, and had written on a poster “ No More Hurting People”