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Marathon memorial taken down as Boston looks 'to the future'

C.J. Gunther / EPA

City employees and volunteers remove the remaining items from the Boston Marathon memorial site at Copley Square in Boston on Tuesday.

Spectators gathered on Tuesday to watch city officials, archivists and volunteers take down a makeshift memorial that sprang up just steps from the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

The crew placed the items into boxes that will be moved to the City of Boston Archives, much of it for safe-keeping until a permanent memorial can be erected.

City officials decided last week that the time had come to remove the assemblage – a collection of teddy bears, running shoes and countless other items that had grown every day since the April 15th bombings. The twin blasts near the finish line killed three people and injured over 260 others.

The knowledge that it would soon be removed drew survivors and citizens to Boston’s Copley Square on Monday night, to view the memorial one last time.

In a letter to victims and the families of those killed, Mayor Thomas M. Menino announced that he is forming a Remembrance Committee to create a permanent memorial for the attacks.

“It is my hope,” Menino wrote, “that the respectful closing of the temporary memorial will help us all look to the future.”