and a hell of a day for all of Boston. So sad, so strange, so surreal – made even more so for me because we were there just the day before, enjoying the cheerful pre-Marathon Monday vibe of the city.

There was, as there always is in these situations, a lot of conflicting information about what had happened, but for a while it sounded as if there had been another explosion away from the marathon’s finish line, at the John F. Kennedy Library on the U-Mass Boston campus. The Library later explained that there had been a fire that they believed to be unrelated to the explosions at the marathon, and that all staff and visitors were safe and had been accounted for.

We can all be thankful for that – though the short window where it looked like the Library was related to the violence reminded me of something. In this project I’m looking at what gravesites and memorials and museums and libraries mean to people – their functions, essentially. They are each, to varying degrees, repositories of national memory, sources of inspiration, recreational spots, engines of tourist economies, etc. Those are the functions for normal people. For the more nefarious, sadly, these spots could also be targets.