BOSTON — Seven days after the Boston Marathon bombings, the city was bustling Monday, with runners hitting the pavement, children walking to school and enough cars clogging the streets to make the morning commute feel almost back to normal in the hours before the traumatic week would be marked with mournful silence.
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has asked residents to observe a moment of silence at 2:50 p.m. Monday, the time the first of the two bombs exploded near the finish line. Bells will toll across the city and state after the minute-long tribute to the victims.
The surviving suspect, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, remained in serious condition in a hospital with a wound to his neck. His older brother, 26-year-old Tamerlan, was killed during a furious getaway attempt.
Many Boston residents headed back to workplaces and schools for the first time since a dramatic week came to an even more dramatic end. Traffic was heavy on major arteries into the city Monday morning, and nervous parents dropped their children off at schools, some for the first time since the attacks.
Authorities on Friday had made the unprecedented request that residents stay at home during the manhunt for suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. He was discovered that evening hiding in a boat covered by a tarp in suburban Watertown.
At the Snowden International School on Newbury Street, a high school set just a block from the bombing site, jittery parents dropped off children as teachers — some of whom had run in the race — greeted each other with hugs.
Carlotta Martin, 49, of Boston, said that leaving her kids at school has been the hardest part of getting back to normal.
"We're right in the middle of things," Martin said outside the school as her children, 17-year-old twins and a 15-year-old, walked in, glancing at the police barricades a few yards from the school's front door.