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Red Sox, Bostonians reflect on marathon bombings

David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox speaks

David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox speaks during a pre-game ceremony in honor of the bombings of Marathon Monday before a game at Fenway Park. (April 20, 2013) Photo Credit: Getty Images

The first anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings is Tuesday. It has been nearly a year since the terrorist attack killed three people, rocked the city and stunned the nation.

But whether it's one year ago to the date or any of the other 364 days of the year, the tragedy has significance to Red Sox players.

"It always sticks with us," second baseman Dustin Pedroia said before the Yankees hosted the Red Sox Saturday afternoon. "It doesn't matter if it's that day. Every day, it always sticks with everybody that was there and was part of the decision to play."

The team, which won the World Series last year, was a source of therapy for some Boston residents. Last week, on Opening Day at Fenway Park, the Red Sox honored those who died, the 264 who were injured and those who helped in the relief effort after the bombings.

"It was very emotional," Pedroia said. "It was a great ceremony. That day is pretty important to everybody in here."

The 2014 Marathon will be run a week from Monday.

Two pressure-cooker bombs exploded about 12 seconds apart near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. Along with the three people killed, at least 14 people needed amputations, including some who suffered traumatic amputations as a result of the blast.

"I didn't know how to think. I didn't know what to say," Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. said. "It was more of an emotion like, 'Why? Who could be so sick to do something like that?' From then, it was just shock."

The suspects later were identified as Chechen brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Boston was under siege for days during a massive manhunt. Tamerlan ended up being killed in a firefight with police and Dzhokhar was apprehended April 19. Dzhokhar revealed that the brothers were extremists who wished to defend their religion from the United States.

A day after the arrest, David Ortiz took the microphone at Fenway Park and uttered words that would end up becoming a rallying cry for unity.

Said Ortiz, "This is our [expletive] city and nobody is going to dictate our freedom."

The Red Sox were one of the faces of the recovery effort. And they continue to be a year later.

"It's a pretty special city," Pedroia said. "It's not just about the Red Sox. It's the way people act in the city. It's everything. Everyone there is tough. When something bad happens, you form together to overcome it."

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