As we approach the second anniversary of the April, 2013 Boston Marathon attack, today's crumb remembers the youngest fatality of that tragic day, eight-year-old Martin Richard. The explosion melted his pants and nearly took off his left arm. His Mom, Denise, stood over him screaming his name as he lay mortally wounded. Few believed any good could come from his loss.
Martin was the grandson of Bob O'Brien, who lives in The Villages, FL. O'Brien will never forget Martin's last visit to The Villages, two months before his death. O'Brien's friend Ruth Burkhardt, who also lives in The Villages, remembers the boy well. "He didn't walk, he bounced," she said, and he loved rooting for Boston teams with his Grampy.
So far, O'Brien has received over 1,000 sympathy cards from around the world, and last year joined his family and Vice-President Joe Biden for a wreath-laying ceremony. He also watched Martin's 13-year-old brother Henry finish the children's relay before the 2014 Boston Marathon, cheering from the sidelines as a pack of runners took the course in Martin's honor.
"When I pray," said O'Brien, "I tell him how much I miss him and say 'I'll be with you someday.'" Meanwhile Martin's parents have started the Martin W. Richard Charitable Foundation. To learn more about this very worthy cause, visit http://www.firstgiving.com/TeamMR8