In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings last year, thousands of locals and visitors created an impromptu memorial near the finish line of the race, composed of running shoes and shirts, race numbers, American flags, and other memorabilia. In an article published on Cognoscenti, WBUR's online ideas and opinion page, English professor Quentin Miller reflects on the meaning of that temporary shrine one year later:

“[The original shrine] reflected the spirit of the marathon — outdoors, energetic, communal — as well as our city’s mood in the aftermath of the bombings — confused, emotional, inarticulate…made of paper, cotton, and synthetic nylon, [it] represents another response to the bombings that we should also acknowledge. We felt vulnerable. We felt wounded. We felt humble, and sad, and impermanent.”

Read Professor Miller’s full article, “Sometimes The Most Eloquent Memorials Are The Least Permanent Ones,” on Cognoscenti.

A portion of the memorial is on display from April 7 – May 11 at The Boston Public Library in an exhibit titled “Dear Boston: Messages from the Marathon Memorial.”