The Boston Little League community banded together on Saturday to remember little Martin Richard, 8, killed in the marathon bombing.
It was an opening day like no other for the children who remembered their funny little teammate with the quick wit and lovely way.
A parade was carried out through his neighborhood in Dorchester and the tears flowed.
“We are Martin’s Firefighters, ” said the T-shirts the Fire Department guys wore, many in tears,
For his teammate Nolan McKenna, 9, the annual parade was a mixed blessing.
“I am grateful and sad,” he said.
“It’s great that so many people have come out to remember him, but I just miss him a lot,” he told the Boston Globe.
The streets were packed and many carried signs with his name and just a single world "Love."
“We miss him dearly,” said his coach Shawn McDonagh, saying his former short stop was “always smiling, polite, and absolutely a great athlete.”
“It’s just not right -- just not fair,” he said. “It’s really tough now, but we’re never going to forget him. We’ll try to go out and have fun and do what he would have done.”
The band played The Minstrel Boy and other songs of mourning and many wore red, white and blue ribbons in Martin’s honor.
Governor Deval Patrick praised the dead boy and said “This community has been shaken."
At the Little League field, the national anthem was played and a local priest said a prayer. An honor guard representing police, firefighters, and paramedics tossed the first pitches.
James McGee, 8, said it meant a lot to him to play on Martin’s team.
“Hopefully, we can bring the championship home for him,” he said.
No Irish Need Apply? Not anymore