News Column

A Touching Tribute to Lives Lost in Boston

April 18, 2013

Two tributes to a Boston Marathon bombing victim swept ashore yesterday as notes in a bottle, touching the hearts of their finders and making the tragedy even more personal.

According to Atlantic Avenue resident Carlene Rivera, when her friend Michael Lebel was walking her dog along the beach yesterday morning at 6:30, he found the bottle on the sand.

"When he opened the bottle and took out the paper inside, he found there were two notes twisted together," Rivera said. "There were two letters written to Krystle Campbell: one written by Patrick Doherty and one by Mark Doherty. They were just so touching."

A Medford native and UMass Boston graduate, Campbell worked as a restaurant manager. The 28-year-old died on Monday from injuries sustained when two bombs exploded at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. She is one of three spectators who died in the attack that also caused injuries to more than 170 others, some enduring crippling and life-threatening wounds.

The handwritten notes to Campbell are dated April 15, the day she died, but before her name was released to the public. They tell of the needless loss of a wonderful friend, with a "beautiful smile and friendly laugh," that will live forever in the hearts of the two men who are mourning her passing.

"Dear Krystle," wrote Mark Doherty, "You came into my life 10 years ago and brought nothing except positivity and friendship. You went to the Boston Marathon to celebrate and your life was taken by senseless violence."

"You will NEVER be forgotten!" Patrick Doherty wrote. "Thanks for being such an amazing person/friend. R.I.P."

Rivera said, over the years, both she and Lebel have often found little treasures on the beach that they've picked up and kept. But never have those findings been as significant as the notes written by the Doherty men, she said.

So moved was she by the sentiments the letters carried, Rivera posted them on her Facebook page so others can see how loved Campbell was.

"When I tried to read Mark's note to my son, I teared right up, and he stopped me," Rivera said. "He said, "Mom, don't cry; I'll go read it myself on your Facebook page.'"

Rivera feels this memorial to Krystle Campbell is very meaningful. A mother herself, Rivera wants to get the notes to Campbell's family so they can perhaps find some comfort in how special Campbell's friends feel she was.

"I think these are so touching that her parents should have them," Rivera said. "I've looked up their address. I'm going to mail them to her parents with a sympathy card."

Source: (c)2013 The Daily News of Newburyport (Newburyport, Mass.). Distributed by MCT Information Services.

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