Beth Robinson's hand still shakes as she talks about the night two weeks ago when her small Watertown neighbourhood turned in a battleground.
"It was crazy, we were scared," she says. "At first we thought it was firecrackers. But then when it got really bad we realized it was gunfire."
The family rushed in to the basement, not knowing what was going on around them. Outside police were in a shootout with the suspects in the Boston Marathon
"Well I'm still a little shaky," she says. "The community has been very supportive, they've had a lot of counsellors, especially for the kids in school"
The neighbourhood is still physically scarred from that night. Small orange flags and measuring tape from police forensic teams frame the bullet holes in houses, through cars and fences. The blood has nearly faded on Laurel St., from where the elder suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was fatally struck..
Robinson's fence has a golf-ball sized hole from where she says a pressure cooker bomb sent shrapnel and ball bearings in to her backyard.
In front of her home is her own personal symbol of defiance; an American flag. Not unusual for any home in this country, but unusual for her, especially at this time of year.
Normally, she'd be flying her Boston Bruin's flag, proudly displaying her hometown pride. But while that flag isn't flying, her heart is still with the team. Their playoff helps take her mind off the bombings and the aftermath.
"It helps because, well between the Celtics playoffs, the Bruins playoffs and the Red Sox are doing awesome, so it gives you a little bit of a distraction," she says.
Symbols of defiance
At the Memorial for the victims in Copley Square, signs of Boston's love of sports are everywhere. Nestled in between the cards, flowers and candles are hats, sweaters and flags with the Bruins, Red Sox, Patriots and Celtics logos.
Collectively those teams have won seven championships in the last 11 years. Fans here don't like losing and their response to the bombing is a motto summing up the city's resilience: Boston Strong.
The blue and yellow logo is all over town. On buildings, flags and small pins. It's emblazoned in bright yellow letters on Kevin Brown's t-shirt as he tends to the memorial. A volunteer, he commutes downtown everyday to water the flowers and change the large cards that people sign, which fill up in about a day and a half.
"Boston is a strong city, so it was just normal to put it on a t-shirt, and it's brought everyone together," Brown says.
He tells tourists visiting how one of the victims, eight-year old Martin Richard was a fan of the Bruins. Shortly after the bombings, his family posted a photo of him wearing a Bruins hat and sweater. The photo went viral.
Playing their part
In the Bruins dressing room before games, a jersey with "Boston Strong" and the number 617 representing the local area code, hangs up for good luck.
The players recognize the role they play in helping the city's recovery and how each win fuels the healing process.
"Well it's definitely in the back of our minds," says Bruins defenceman Adam McQuaid.
"We'd like to give people something to be happy about, something to cheer about, hopefully we can continue to do that."
Johnny Boychuk scored a big goal for the Bruins in their opening win against the Leafs: "For us to win, a game, a series, the playoffs, anything, just to give them something to cheer for and to be happy and get their mind off things, do that little bit goes a long way for the city and our fans."
The team donated $250,000 to a fund for the victims. The team honoured first responders before Game 1 of their series against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Celtics held a similar ceremony before they opened their first-round series against the New York Knicks.
The Red Sox did their part, with big slugger David Ortiz giving a passionate speech to fans, exclaiming "This is our (expletive) city and nobody is going to dictate our freedom, stay strong."
In Watertown, Beth Robinson remembers how Red Sox players came to her neighbourhood to hand out tickets to residents
"It's great because you know that everybody is thinking of you and what you went through."