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Candlelight vigil spreads messages of peace and love in Boston

Hundreds gathered on the Boston Common for a candlelight vigil tonight. They sang songs and lit candles in front of banners reading "Peace here and everywhere" and "Boston, you're our home."

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From left: College students Emma MacDonald, Rachael Semplice, and Juliana Hudson attend an impromptu vigil on Boston Common for victims of the bombing of the Boston Marathon, on April 16. The vigil drew hundreds of people who listened to a chorus sing hymns and patriotic songs.

Melanie Stetson Freeman/The Christian Science Monitor

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Hundreds of people gathered for a vigil on the Boston Common. They sang songs and lit candles one day after the bombing attack on the city's marathon that killed three people and injured more than 170.

Several hundred people turned out Tuesday evening with banners declaring "Peace here and everywhere" and "Boston, you're our home."

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Participants sang songs including "Amazing Grace" and "The Star-Spangled Banner."

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The blasts killed 8-year-old Martin Richard of Boston, 29-year-old Krystle Campbell of Massachusetts, and a third victim, identified only as a graduate student at Boston University. On Tuesday, an official at the Chinese Consulate in New York, who was not authorized to give his name, confirmed that student was a f

Northeastern University student Scott Turner hugged friends, wept and prayed at the vigil. He said the people of Boston would not be afraid and would respond by showing peace and supporting one another.

There was also a heavy military presence on the Common with dozens of National Guard troops.

President Obama plans to visit Boston on Thursday to attend an interfaith service in honor of the victims. He has traveled four times to cities reeling from mass violence, most recently in December after the schoolhouse shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

Eileen Sullivan reported from Washington. Jay Lindsay, Steve LeBlanc, Bridget Murphy, Rodrique Ngowi, and Meghan Barr reported in Boston.