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Boston (CNN) - Copley Square turned from a crime scene back into the heart of Boston on Thursday. The blood has been washed off the streets, but the wound is still fresh. Bostonians gathered at a makeshift memorial to remember those taken from us by last week's horrific, senseless acts of terrorism.
Everywhere you looked, the names of the four victims appeared: Officer Sean Collier, Krystle Campbell, Lu Lingzi, and little Martin Richard.
"It's sad, but it feels good," said Alicia Capovico, who works down the street. She and her colleagues were back at work for the first time Thursday, and came to the square with flowers to pay their respects.
"When we came to work we all hugged each other, which we normally would never do," Capovico said.
Flowers piled up. American flags fluttered in the spring breeze. Abandoned running shoes hung from the fence. A rubber ducky policeman was left for Officer Collier. Red Sox caps lined the bricks; baseballs for little league's fallen Martin Richard.
Thousands of Bostonians were drawn here. Hundreds left handwritten messages to the victims, and to the city.
"I'm a photographer and I just wanted to capture this moment," said Amy Falk, who left a message that read, "May their memories be a blessing."
"What happened really made me feel so connected to Boston," said Falk.
At times the emotions were overwhelming, and people openly wept. Others wanted to help - one man asked a Red Cross worker if he could still donate blood.
A team of therapy dogs were on hand, offering a friendly face and a wagging tail to provide comfort.
But Copley Square today was weighed down with a powerful sorrow. Intangible feelings manifested in mountains of symbols, the grief literally piled up all around.