Boston plans for safe celebration

Security ramped up as city refuses to give in to terrorism fears
Associated Press
Jul 3, 2013


For many New Englanders, the Fourth of July means the Boston Pops performing the "1812 Overture" on the Charles River Esplanade and fireworks booming overhead.

This year, it's also the city's first large public gathering since the Boston Marathon bombings — an attack that authorities have said the suspects first considered staging on Independence Day.

But as law enforcement officials put a ramped-up security plan in place Wednesday, many people in Boston said they wouldn't give in to fear of terrorism by changing their plans or staying away from public celebrations.

Catherine Lawrie, a 54-year-old Massachusetts Senate employee, walked down near the Esplanade to hear some of the performers rehearse Wednesday.

She was disappointed a footbridge to the river was blocked because of increased security, but said Boston looked ready to host a big party without any worries about safety.

She also wasn't thinking about the bombing suspects' alleged original target. "I'm thinking of independence and what our country is about," Lawrie said.

Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart said the tight security reminded him of what it was like during the city's first July Fourth celebration following the Sept. 11 attacks. He said before then, the thought of having bomb-sniffing dogs at the Esplanade was odd.

"The core of terrorism is psychological. I think this is a perfect time to come together as Bostonians," he said. "Events are a good way to move on from events like what happened."

East Boston resident Christy Scott, who watched the Boston Marathon from the halfway point, gathered with her family Wednesday to watch the concert rehearsal. The 41-year-old wore a bracelet that said "Boston Strong," the slogan that since the April 15 attack has come to represent the city's refusal to give in to the fear of terrorism.

"Not about to change our plans and traditions," she said. "We're just not going to live in fear."

Boston University chemistry professor Sean Elliott also brought relatives to the area.

"I'm not nervous," the 41-year-old said. "I am sure that the human spirit will thrive. I'm sure it will be a great festival like it is every year."

Authorities have said the concert and fireworks display usually attracts 500,000 to 600,000 spectators, but 33-year-old cab driver Saidon Mayugi suggested some people would be hesitant about being out in a big crowd.

"Some people, their minds are still on it," Mayugi said.

Local, state and federal authorities coordinated on a security plan that includes a greater law-enforcement presence. That means more uniformed and undercover officers, along with precautions that include bag checks and increased live video surveillance along the Charles River that authorities will monitor from a nearby command center. Authorities also have set up a text-a-tip line for the public to report any suspicious activity.

Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said the public will see more officers both downtown and in outlying neighborhoods. He said the city even graduated a class of 55 police recruits early so they could assist with security.

State police Col. Timothy Alben said Wednesday that authorities haven't received any threats against the event by the river, and he encouraged the public to come out to a show that his own family will be attending.

So will Gov. Deval Patrick.

"I'm looking forward to it," Patrick said Wednesday. "I think it'll be a great day."




The Boston Pops show is always the best!! I don't really care to much for the Cedar Point show - the traffic to get in and out of anywhere to try and see it is typically a disaster just for a barely tolerable show. Not worth it in my opinion! Just flip on the Boston Pops show and you get amazing music and the fireworks and no hassles!! Really hope they don't have any problems there


I agree! Cedar Point has the money to put on spectacular fireworks display and they never do. Cedar Fair is so cheap when it comes to fireworks. They can afford to do much, much better. Why they don't I will never understand.

Also, I have been to the Boston Pops when I lived there and every year I wish I could afford to go back and watch it live but since I can't I watch it on TV. They used to show the whole program starting at 7:30 I believe on A&E but now CBS shows only the ending but still it is better than going to Cedar Point! I am glad that Boston is not letting terrorism ruin or stop their holiday celebration. That would be a travesty because it is one of the best, if not the best, 4th of July celebration!

In such a patriotic and historical city such as Boston, celebrating the 4th of July there is very emotional and fun. I can't really describe how awesome my Independence Day there was and I am glad I will get to watch tonight on tv since I can't be there in person.


Celebrating Freedom while practicing for a police state, How ironic.

The Big Dog's back

So people shouldn't be aware of their surroundings?


Arent you without the help of a entire police force to do that for you? Having to go through checkpoint after check point proving who you are and why you are there is not freedom by any stretch of the imagination. Keep the sheep scared and they will not mind the fence.


Re: "Keep the sheep scared and they will not mind the fence."

Good point.

Kinda like the movie: "The Village."

Reminds me of a story told by then Gov. Reagan:

" was like the farmer who went into the woods and came back with the wagon loads of wild pigs.

When they asked him how he had done it–they’d been wild for a hundred years–he said, 'I built a fence and I put corn down and fed them, and they got used to eating the corn there, so l extended the fences’s sides and finally I had an enclosure and I corralled them.' He said, 'If I can get them to take food from me, I’ll own them.'"

The Big Dog's back

Ask the injured and deceased people's family if they wished there was more security at the Boston Marathon. Always easy to armchair quarterback from the comfort of your home.


Re: "...more security at the Boston Marathon."

So the authorities were incompetent? Nice 20-20 hindsight Capt. Armchair.

The Big Dog's back

Only you would come up with that conclusion Mr. Happy.


"Only you would come up with that conclusion,"

Nope! Your "conclusion" Capt. Obvious. :)

Have a nice day b*tchin' and moanin'.


JudgeMeNot's picture

@ lil dog

What more you want? Its already been said many times the bomb squad was on scene four hours before the explosive devices went off.


Relax -- Drink Up -- No Worries


"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." Benjamin Franklin, 1759


This country was owned by the few before this date.Ron Reagan was Lew Wasserman's *itch. Facts speak it. Know your history eeyore.