Since Jan­uary, Nancy Marche has been sorting and sifting through the memo­rials that were care­fully laid down at Copley Square last year for the vic­tims of the Boston Marathon bomb­ings. But even after all of these months looking at the items, she man­ages to dis­cover new, heart­felt mes­sages tucked away on the sides of the shoes, posters, stuffed ani­mals, and let­ters that were placed in remem­brance near the Boyl­ston Street finish line.

We cry every day,” said Marche, holding back tears. “And every day you see some­thing dif­ferent. We’ve been through these boxes a lot, but then you see some­thing that you hadn’t seen before.”

Marche and roughly 10 employees from Iron Moun­tain, a Boston-​​based preser­va­tion and storage com­pany, have taken on the mon­u­men­tally emo­tional task of cat­e­go­rizing all of the items—bears, hats, sneakers, post­cards, paper cranes, and thou­sands of letters—for the last three months, since a majority of the con­do­lences couldn’t be stored in the con­fines of the City Archives in West Rox­bury, and needed a new home.

Marche and workers from Iron Moun­tain decided to shoulder the respon­si­bility of pre­serving and sorting all of the tokens of sup­port from the makeshift Copley Square memo­rial pro bono, after Samantha Joseph, the company’s director of cor­po­rate respon­si­bility and sus­tain­ability, real­ized that once the orig­inal tribute came down last June, the objects would need to be prop­erly taken care of in order to make them last for what she hopes is a life­time. “When I vis­ited the site [last year], I took a look at it, and said, ‘some­body is going to be respon­sible for this, and I’m won­dering if that’s some­thing we could help with,’” said Joseph.

Read the article at Boston Magazine →