The 2013 season formally ended Saturday for the Boston Red Sox as they celebrated their eighth world championship with an emotional parade with an estimated crowd of 1.5 million people through the streets of Boston.
In a ceremony that started at Fenway Park and ended with Duck Boats floating on the Charles River, a team and a city united one again.
The highlight came at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Boylston Street.
As the precession paused to honor the victims of Patriots Day bombing, Jonny Gomes and Jarrod Saltalamacchia jumped off their boat and placed the World Series trophy and both of the “Boston 617 Strong” jersey’s that hung in their dugout all season on the finish line.
The hundreds of thousands who stood 45-50 deep there and at Copley square watched openly weeping as they broke out into singing “God Bless America.”
Gomes and Saltalamacchia took a moment to hug victims and first responders who were back at the line to watch the team that had their city’s back celebrate.
David Ortiz stood on a flatbed truck with the Dropkick Murphy’s and did rap. Confetti guns sprayed red, white and blue paper everywhere and players were as eager to video the scene as the fans that came out to see them.
There were a couple of glitches.
One of the boats was stuck for a short time on the wet clay warning track that rings the field at Fenway, delaying the start for a few moments.
The other delay came at the request of the Boston Police Department as the crowd along the Charles was so much bigger than anticipated that they delayed placing the boats in the river for nearly a half-hour.
On a beautiful, crisp November day, a region and team so intertwined gave each other one last bear hug. Moments never to be forgotten.
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