Artifacts left at the marathon finish line are now part of an exhibition that also serves as a place to heal and remind everyone of the city's strength.
They are messages of sorrow, of strength and hope written to the people of Boston, to the victims and to the survivors.
Last April, after two bombs silenced the excitement at the finish line and sent shockwaves through the city, a makeshift memorial grew in Copley Square.
It was an emotional outpouring. And now, every hat, banner, card, and 150 pairs of running shoes are on display at the public library in an exhibit called "Dear Boston: Messages from the Marathon Memorial."
The effort to preserve thousands of items was overwhelming, and a walk through the collection shows just how painful the bombings were -- not just for Boston, but for the world.
"The 'Dear Boston' exhibition gives all of us the opportunity to remember, reflect and come together as we approach the one-year anniversary of last year's marathon," said Amy Ryan with the Boston Public Library.
Visitors are being encouraged to leave their own messages of hope on a tree as they exit the memorial. The exhibit runs through May 11 at the Boston Public Library.