During the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15, 2013, Martin Richards, at 8-years-old, became the youngest victim and was killed. No parent should ever have to go through the devastation and suffering over the loss of a child. Especially at the hands of such horrific violence.
Shortly after the bombing, a photo of Martin holding a handmade poster that read “No more hurting people. Peace” was shared over the Internet. Martin soon became a symbol of peace and love, not only to Bostonians but to those all over the world.
The Richard family have somehow been able to turn the unimaginable into a message of strength, dignity, peace and love. They created a foundation, in their son's name, to choose kindness, even in the wake of all that they have endured. Their mission: “To honor Martin’s message of peace by investing in athletics, education and community.”
On April 8, 2015, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was found guilty on all 30 counts in the bombing that killed 3 and injured 260 people. The jury only needed 11 hours to find the 21-year-old guilty. Bill and Denise Richard, Martin’s parents, decided not to testify but have publicly spoken out against him getting the death penalty. There could not be a bigger show of peace and love, all in the name of their beloved son.
Boston Parks and Recreation Department (BPRD) will be constructing a universally accessible park and playground to honor Martin Richard. It will be called Martin’s Park and will provide value for children, families, and visitors of all abilities.
Construction is set to begin this summer and is expected to be completed next year and the entire Richard family has been involved with the design. The park will be located along Fort Point Channel, next to the Boston’s Children’s Museum and from a bird’s eye view, the park forms the number 8, Martin’s favorite number.
Bill Richards told boston.cbslocal.com, “People were so incredibly kind to us when everything happened,” Richard said. “We really do see this as our gift, it’s really everyone’s gift, back to Boston.” The Martin Richard Foundation is just $2.5 million shy of establishing a fund to make sure the park can be maintained well into the future.
If you’d like to donate for the construction of the park, please go to: Crowdrise.com/martins-park.