In this now iconic photo, Martin Richard shares his message in response to the killing of Trevon Martin:

Last night Lawrence O'Donnell's MSNBC's show, The Last Word,  included an interview with Bill Forry the editor of the Dorchester Reporter. Dorchester is home to the Richard family;  Martin Richard, eight-years-old, was killed in the Boston Marathon bombing Monday.

Dorchester, part of the fabric of Boston, is made up of close-knit neighborhoods.

The Richard family, Bill and Denise, their oldest son Henry, 12-years-old, their son - now lost - Martin, and their youngest, daughter seven-year-old Jane, live in the Ashmont section of Dorchester.

Dealing with the death of one son is something no father should have to endure, but Bill Richard is also coping with the catastrophic injuries suffered by his wife and daughter.

Contrary to early reports, although Bill has run in past marathons this year he joined his family at the finish line to cheer friends on.

Kevin Cullen, columnist for the Boston Globe gave us a new perspective of what happened to the Richard family. Ed Kelly, head of the state firefighters association, accompanied him to a local fire station, home to Engine 7, to talk to firefighters who responded to the scene. One of those firefighters gave a first-hand account:

[...] A 12-year department veteran from Dorchester was right next to him, working through the victims in front of Marathon Sports. He saw a guy he knew from the neighborhood, Bill Richard.

“I can’t find Denise,” Richard cried, referring to his wife.

The Richard family had been caught in the blast as they watched runners pass the finish line. Bill Richard and his son Henry avoided serious injury. But Denise Richard was hit in the head with shrapnel, and 6-year-old daughter Janey lost part of her leg. Eight-year-old Martin Richard caught the full force of the explosion, and when the firefighter looked down at him, “I knew Marty was gone.”

Marty Richard was a third-grade classmate of the firefighter’s daughter. In fact, almost everyone on Engine 7 knew the Richards; the lieutenant’s kid was a classmate of one of the Richard kids.

Kelly knows the family as well:
“My daughter goes to the same Irish step dance school as Janey Richard,” Ed Kelly said. “This is the thing. All these guys, they’re neighborhood guys. When they were working on these people on Boylston Street, in some cases they were working on friends and neighbors, and they were working on strangers just as hard. They saved many lives.”
Cullen wrote that the firemen interviewed with Kelly didn't want to be identified. According to Kelly:
"They don’t want to be singled out. They did what every firefighter in the city did. What every cop, every EMS worker, did. They don’t think they’re special.”
During the interview with O'Donnell last night, Forry said also said that Jane had indeed lost her leg and that she loved Irish step-dancing. He said he believes Jane will dance again.

Denise Martin is suffering from a head injury and also remains in the hospital. Denise works as a librarian at the elementary school where both Martin and Jane were students. There has been little information available about her current condition. Some reporters, including Forry, have suggested concern about brain injury.

Governor Deval Patrick was interviewed on local station WCVB this evening and said he had visited with and spoken to Denise and Bill today.  

"Henry is a hero," said Governor Deval Patrick, "He doesn't think he is, but he is."

Bill had to have shrapnel removed from his leg and his oldest son Henry, age 12, wasn't hurt.

Forry describes the Richard family as one known to travel as a unit. They are active in the community and were instrumental in the improvements to the village square in their neighborhood. Those improvements involved the restoration of a clock mounted on a post in the middle of the square.

According to the Dorchester Reporter, the day of the bombing, Jeff Gonyeau who has the keys to the restored clock, set the keys to the exact time of the explosion that killed little Martin.

Jeff had the Richard family in his heart and a heart-wrenching W.H. Auden poem on his lips:

“Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.”

It is times like these that a neighborhood like the Martin's will support this family. They held a candlelight vigil yesterday and reporters spoke to many local residents who professed, often through tears, that they will do whatever the family needs.

Another article written by Forry in the Dorchester Reporter quotes one attendee:

“My grandson plays sports with little Martin,” said Maria Deltufo, 47, a lifetime Dorchester resident. “It’s just heart wrenching you know? The whole community, it’s really touching home for everybody. It’s hard to fathom that it happened in the first place, but when it’s somebody in your neighborhood, and your hometown. And such a little boy that is so full of life and so happy. And the whole family is now destroyed senselessly,” she said.

“Nobody knows what to do, but this is the only thing we can think of to do, to come together and be with each other and just show how strong a community we really are because Dorchester really is a strong support system," Deltufo said. “There’s nothing any of us wouldn’t do for that family right now.”

You can help.
This facebook page has information for a local fund:
Anyone looking to make a donation to help the Richard Family can go directly to Meetinghouse Bank or Vargas & Vargas Insurance in Lower Mills. The account name is: Richard Family Fund

For convenience, they have set up additional locations in Dorchester that will have a donation "drop box" for the Richard Family Fund. These locations have been confirmed:

Blasi's Cafe - 762 Adams St
Peabody Square Firehouse- 1884 Dorchester Ave
Viet AID - 42 Charles St
Beauty Bar - 393 Neponset Ave
McKenna's Cafe - 109 Savin Hill Ave
Savin Scoop's- 107 Savin Hill Ave
224 Boston Street Restaurant - 224 Boston St
Sugar Bowl Cafe - 857 Dorchster Ave

Cash, checks and money orders can be donated (checks/money orders made payable to “The Richard Family Fund”).

According to the Boston Globe:
A central fund to aid the families most affected by the Boston Marathon explosions was announced Tuesday by Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Governor ­Deval Patrick. Those wishing to contribute should visit onefundboston.org. Among the many donations is $1 million from John Hancock. Other contributors include Brian Moynihan, president of Bank of America; Hill Holliday founder Jack Connors; John Fish, CEO of Suffolk Construction; Paul Grogan, president of The Boston Foundation; Steve Pagliuca, managing director of Bain Capital and co-owner of the Boston Celtics; Larry Lucchino, CEO of the Boston Red Sox; and Mike Sheehan, CEO, and Karen ­Kaplan, president, of Hill Holliday.
I still can't get the image of the balloons that drifted up from that first blast, and I can't help but think a child had those balloons.


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