TODAY   |  April 15, 2014

Natalie Morales: ‘Boston is ready to run again’

One year after the Boston Marathon bombings, Boston stays strong. Vice President Joe Biden will lead a tribute there today with local officials, bombing survivors and victims’ families. TODAY’s Natalie Morales reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> today's top story. natalie 's in boston this morning. this is the one-year anniversary of the marathon bombings there. 12 months later, the city and its people are still coming to grips with this tragedy as they prepare for this year's race. natalie , good morning to you.

>> good morning to you, savannah. today will be a day of reflection and remembrance. vice president joe biden along with state and local officials will lead a tribute here to the bombing survivors, the victims' families, and even that hero in the cowboy hat . then at the finish line , a moment of silence followed by church bells at the exact moment, 2:49 p.m ., when the first blast went off. the words emerged almost as soon as the smoke was clear -- boston strong. a city stopped feet from the finish line , a finish line they finally crossed. the one run for boston , a cross-country relay that began in california and finished with runners and survivors walking across the finish line side by side .

>> boston strong, baby!

>> you get goosebumps. i don't feel like i deserved to cross that finish line .

>> for the home of the world's most famed foot race , it has also been a marathon back. boilston street now repainted. boston has unfinished business . 20-year-old dzhokhar tsarnaev caught cowering in a backyard boat four frenetic days after the attack now faces trial in november.

>> it seems pretty clear that what dzhokhar tsarnaev's lawyers are going to argue is that he was heavily influenced by his older brother. they're going to say that the older brother was much more into violent jihad and the younger brother was in essence led around.

>> the older brother tamerlan killed in a hail of gunfire on the streets of watertown, but there are still unanswered questions. did the bombs the pair grew mean they had more targets, perhaps even new york? could tamerlan 's american-born widow katherine russell hold clues to the boys' motives? she and their 3-year-old daughter are now out of the spotlight, venturing out for trips to dunkin' donuts and chipotle. and could this have been prevented, before the attacks when the fbi asked for more information about tamerlan , why did russia refuse to answer? for now, a new starting line for next week's marathon in the race to replace what happened last year, respect for the victims and vigilance.

>> our officers, while i'm sure they've always been vigilant in the past, they're just going to be a little bit extra vigilant out there.

>> they turned out 3,000 strong for this " sports illustrated " cover shoot, victims and first responders crowded in copley square , ready to show the world where this ends. and dzhokhar tsarnaev will face the death penalty when he goes to trial this fall. he has pleaded not guilty, but right now, everyone here is focused on moving forward, looking ahead to monday's marathon and savannah, you better believe, boston is ready to run again.

>> natalie , you have been in boston so many times visiting with survivors over the last year. what would you say the mood of the city is today as this anniversary is upon us ?

>> i think certainly a lot of mixed emotions here, savannah. you see obviously the strength and the resilience that you've seen of the survivors over the past year and how far they've come. but a lot of people, as they approach today, this anniversary, but also looking ahead to monday, marathon monday, which is a tradition for so many here to come out and cheer and stand alongside in the crowds, i think a lot of people have mixed emotions about whether or not they want to be here, thinking that it may be a difficult thing for them to do physically and emotionally to be able to once again stand and cheer along, you know, without obviously thinking, you know, about what happened here a year ago, savannah.

>> i know a lot of people want to make some new memories. natalie , thank you. we'll be back to you throughout the morning with more from boston .