For many New Englanders, the Fourth of July means the Boston Pops performing Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” on the Charles River Esplanade and fireworks booming overhead.
This year, it’s also the city’s first large public gathering since the Boston Marathon bombings — an attack that authorities have said the suspects first considered staging on Independence Day.
But as law enforcement officials put a ramped-up security plan in place Wednesday, many people in Boston said they wouldn’t give in to fear of terrorism by changing their plans or staying away from public celebrations.
Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart said the tight security reminded him of what it was like during the city’s first July Fourth celebration following the Sept. 11 attacks.
“The core of terrorism is psychological. I think this is a perfect time to come together as Bostonians,” he said. “Events are a good way to move on from events like what happened.”
East Boston resident Christy Scott, who watched the Boston Marathon from the halfway point, gathered with her family Wednesday to watch the rehearsal
Boston University chemistry professor Sean Elliott also brought relatives to the area.
“I’m not nervous,” the 41-year-old said. “I am sure that the human spirit will thrive. I’m sure it will be a great festival like it is every year.”
Authorities have said the fireworks display usually attracts 500,000 to 600,000 spectators.