Boston ups July 4th security, revelers resolute

Jul 3, 2013, 8:52 PM

BOSTON (AP) – 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.”

___

Associated Press writer Bob Salsberg in Boston contributed to this story.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

United States News

In this courtroom sketch, R. Kelly briefly addresses Judge Ann Donnelly during his sentencing in fe...
Associated Press

EXPLAINER: How will R. Kelly sentence impact other trials?

CHICAGO (AP) — R. Kelly could be in his 80s before the singer is free again, based on a 30-year prison term imposed this week by a New York federal judge for parlaying his fame to sexually abuse young fans, including some who were children. And if the 55-year-old loses at three related trials in […]
21 hours ago
FILE - In this Dec. 23, 2021, photo provided by the U.S. Navy, Rear Adm. John Korka, Commander, Nav...
Associated Press

Navy report: Multiple errors poisoned Pearl Harbor water

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (AP) — A Navy investigation released Thursday revealed that shoddy management and human error caused fuel to leak into Pearl Harbor’s tap water last year, poisoning thousands of people and forcing military families to evacuate their homes for hotels. The investigation is the first detailed account of how jet fuel from the […]
21 hours ago
Associated Press

Police: Shooting in Newark wounds 9; all expected to survive

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Nine people, including a teenager, were wounded Thursday evening in gunfire outside a neighborhood grocery shop in Newark, police said. All of the victims are expected to survive and police are searching for a vehicle believed to have been involved in the shooting, Acting Newark Public Safety Director Raul Malave told […]
21 hours ago
Roberto Marquez adds a cross to a makeshift memorial at the site where officials more than 50 peopl...
Associated Press

US official: Migrants who died cleared inland checkpoint

The tractor-trailer at the center of a disastrous human-smuggling attempt that left 53 people dead had passed through an inland U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint with migrants inside the sweltering rig earlier in its journey, a U.S. official said Thursday.
21 hours ago
FILE - UCLA guard Jaime Jaquez Jr., right, tries to get by Southern California forward Isaiah Moble...
Associated Press

Big Ten votes to add USC, UCLA as members starting in 2024

In a surprising and seismic shift in college athletics, the Big Ten voted Thursday to add Southern California and UCLA as conference members beginning in 2024. The expansion to 16 teams will happen after the Pac-12’s current media rights contracts with Fox and ESPN expire and make the Big Ten the first conference to stretch […]
21 hours ago
FILE—Plastic bottles of shampoo are displayed at Compton's Market in Sacramento, Calif., Friday, ...
Associated Press

California sets nation’s toughest plastics reduction rules

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Companies selling shampoo, food and other products wrapped in plastic have a decade to cut down on their use of the polluting material if they want their wares on California store shelves. Major legislation passed and signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday aims to significantly reduce single-use plastic packaging in […]
21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
CANVAS ANNUITY

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
...
Christina O’Haver

BE FAST to spot a stroke

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

ADHS mobile program brings COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to Arizonans

The Arizona Department of Health Services and partner agencies are providing even more widespread availability by making COVID-19 vaccines available in neighborhoods through trusted community partners.
Boston ups July 4th security, revelers resolute