The parents of Trayvon Martin have written a letter of support to the parents of the 8-year-old boy killed in the bombings at the Boston Marathon on Monday.
Martin Richard was one of the three people killed by the act of terror when two bombs were set off near the end of the race, where the young man was cheering runners with his family.
In a photo that became widely circulated after a friend of his teacher posted it on Facebook in his memory, Martin Richard is seen holding a sign that reads, “No more hurting people. Peace.”
Several news reports say Martin Richard made the sign last year in response to the Trayvon Martin shooting. TheGrio has not confirmed why the sign was made, but the Martin family statement refers to those news reports. Martin, an unarmed teen, was killed by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida in February 2012. Zimmerman says Martin attacked him and that he shot him in self-defense. His trial for second degree murder charges is expected to start on June 10th.
Through the Trayvon Martin Foundation, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, the parents of Trayvon Martin, have released a note offering sympathy to the family of Martin Richard. Their words of compassion are also extended to all those personally touched by this incident.
Their statement, released on April 16 and confirmed by theGrio, reads:
Statement to the Family of Martin Richard from the Parents of Trayvon Martin
Our hearts are broken over the tragedy in Boston yesterday. Our family sends our sincerest condolences to all of those who have been affected by this terrible situation. We especially would like to send a message to the family of eight year old, Martin Richard. We have come to understand that the peace sign that Martin is holding in a photo being circulated throughout the media, was created in response to a lesson by his teacher about the death of our son. From our family to yours’, we are praying for you, thinking about you and will remember your son for the rest of our lives.
-Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, parents of Trayvon Martin
Martin Richard’s parents and two siblings survived the blast, but his mother and sister were seriously injured. His mother Denise has undergone brain surgery and remains hospitalized. Richard’s younger sister Jane lost her leg. His father Bill received shrapnel injuries to his legs. Martin Richard’s older brother Henry was unharmed.
Bill Richard, a respected leader in the community, released this statement on Tuesday: “My dear son Martin has died from injuries sustained in the attack on Boston. My wife and daughter are both recovering from serious injuries. We thank our family and friends, those we know and those we have never met, for their thoughts and prayers. I ask that you continue to pray for my family as we remember Martin.”
Martin Richard’s death has deeply impacted not only the Dorchester area of Boston where the victim and his family resided, but also the country and the world. Martin Richard’s image of innocence lost has come to symbolize the appalling aftermath of the bombings, which also resulted in 183 hospitalizations, including 13 for amputations.
Follow Alexis Garrett Stodghill on theGrio @lexisb.