Eight-year-old Martin Richard was named as one of deceased victims of the Boston Marathon bombings of 2013. Here’s what you should know about young Martin, his family, and his disheartening death.
1. Martin Was Waiting at the Finish Line to Give His Father a Hug
Daily Mail recounted the events that occurred before Martin Richard was killed by the bombings – Martin was standing near the finish line with his mother, brother, and sister. He was waiting for his father Bill Richard, who was making his way to the end of the race. As Bill made his way to the finish line, Martin rushed out to give him a hug. When the boy turned back to return to the sidewalk to join his mother and siblings, the first bomb went off. Martin lost his life soon after.
Representative Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts spoke on the story on Tuesday’s edition of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, which differs from the accounts that state that Martin’s father was running during the marathon:
The dad is a runner, but he wasn’t running yesterday. They were there to support some of their friends who were running. The kids were all up on the barrier. They were all focused forward and the blast came from the back and the side.
2. He May Have Nearly “Cheated Death”
The Boston Globe reported that the young boy may have nearly cheated death if he continued to make his way toward his father. Martin’s life was lost when he turned back to his mother and his two siblings along the sidewalk, where the first bomb blast was recorded.
3. His Sister Lost Her Leg in the Blast
Martin’s six-year-old sister Jane (seen in the above picture with pink clothing) reportedly lost a leg in the resulting bomb blast. As for his older brother Henry, he managed to escape any serious injuries.
4. His Mother Also Was Injured
HLN reported that Martin’s mother Denise was severely injured in the blast. She is now under hospital care after undergoing brain surgery. Mashable posted a story on actress Denise Richards, whose son was mistakenly identified as the young boy killed in the bombings.
5. Boston Residents Gathered to Mourn at His Home
Residents of Dorchester, Boston, gathered to mourn the loss of Martin at Tavolo Restaurant on Monday evening. Children dropped off flowers and balloons at the front floor of the boy’s home. Pink flowers and orange, pink, and blue balloons were also spotted near the home. Global News painted a somber scene that was seen at the family’s home:
A candle burned on the stoop of the family’s single-family home in the city’s Dorchester section Tuesday, and the word “Peace” was written in chalk on the front walkway.
Another neighbor, Wally Sorocky, spoke to the New York Daily News about this great tragedy:
(They’re a) great family, actually. How does anyone deal with this? Hopefully (the mom) can pull through this. It’s horrible.
6. His Parents Are Well Regarded Members of Their Community
Martin’s mother Denise was a librarian at the Dorchester Neighborhood House Charter School, where all he children attend classes. His father Bill is the director of a local community group. City Councilor at Large Ayanna Pressley spoke to the Boston Globe about hoe revered Martin’s parents are in the community:
They are beloved by this community. They contribute in many ways. That’s why you see this outpouring. It’s surreal, it’s tragic
7. He Was a Very Active Young Child
A neighbor of the Richard’s family, Betty Delorey, told the Boston Globe that young Martin Richard “loved to climb the neighborhood trees, and hop the fence outside his home.” Martin was also a member of the Savin Hill Little League baseball team. Him and his two siblings were always said to be seen playing soccer and hockey, alongside riding bikes. Martin Richard was also known as a proponent of peace, as evidenced by the peace sign he’s seen displaying in the picture above. The New York Daily News reported that Martin took this photo in honor of Trayvon Martin in a call for peace.
9. His Father Was Described as the “Walking Dead” When He Returned Home from the Hospital
Daily Mail recounted the details of Bill Richard’s mental state as he returned home from the hospital:
Bill Richard was still in hospital scrubs and was unable to speak or even look at anyone because he was so upset at the death of son Martin, neighbors told MailOnline. Jane Sherman, 64, said that Mr Richard came home for around 10 minutes at 10.30pm last night to get some clothes. ‘He looked like the walking dead,’ she said. ‘If you just lost a child and your other daughter was in the hospital I don’t think you would feel any differently. ‘He didn’t even look at me and his friend came over to tell me. He told me that Martin had died and that the others were in the hospital.’
BuzzFeed News tweeted out an exclusive statement from Bill Richard:
Statement from father of 8-year-old Martin Richard who died in the Boston attacks twitter.com/BuzzFeedNews/s…
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) April 16, 2013
10. At Least One Other Child Was Injured in the Blast
Reports have come out about another young child that was injured in the bombings — 11-year-old Aaron Hern. He was injured by bomb shrapnel while he was awaiting the arrival of his mother by the finish line.