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BOSTON – They weren't afraid of going to the spot. They didn't avoid it. Quite the opposite. All day Monday, hundreds of people flocked to the exact location where the first bomb went off 40 feet from the finish line on April 15, 2013 at last year's Boston Marathon.

The crowd lining Boylston Street was at least five-deep outside the Marathon Sports sporting goods store as the wheelchair competitors finished, and swelled even larger as the day wore on and the clock closed in on 2:49 p.m., the time of day during last year's marathon when the first bomb exploded.

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The sun was out. The weather was warm. People were milling about, some watching the race, others just walking by, almost as if they didn't know what had happened there a year ago.

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Except that they all almost certainly did.

Two signs were being held at the site: "No more hurting people. Peace," the wonderful message of 8-year-old Martin Richard, who was killed by the second bomb. And, as always, "Boston Strong."

And in the Marathon Sports storefront, a "Thank you, Boston," sign for helping the store reopen after the bombing. The store was open for business, and people were coming in, dozens of them. It was almost like any other day. Almost.

At exactly 2:49 p.m., the time the first bomb exploded at the Boston Marathon April 15, 2013, a raucous scene at the finish line was silenced by these words from the public address announcer:

"Let's pause for that horrible moment and fall silent as we remember, and in whose honor everybody is running."

A crowd 10-deep at the spot where the bomb went off grew still and quiet, as did the thousands gathered around the nearby finish line.

After 10 seconds, the announcer said this:

"And now take it forward with a yell that they will hear around the world."

The spectators obliged. A wild, sustained cheer went up as waves of runners, dozens of them every few seconds, crossed the finish line, cheering and waving their arms in triumph.

PHOTOS: 2014 BOSTON MARATHON

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