Security in D.C. after Boston Marathon bombings up for Emancipation Day
The District of Columbia's Emancipation Day parade went on as planned a day after two bombs exploded in Boston near the finish line of the city's marathon.
Tuesday is a holiday in Washington commemorating the day in 1862 that President Abraham Lincoln signed the D.C. Compensated Emancipation Act. The act ended slavery in the city.
Spectators at Tuesday's parade said they were aware of the Boston bombing but that it didn't stop them from attending the parade. A few noted the police presence that included officers on foot as well as vehicles with flashing lights.
Massachusetts resident Anthony Scibelli, a three-time Boston Marathon runner, was among the spectators. Scibelli said he felt it was important to attend the parade. His wife, Michelle Scibelli, said the Boston bombing was "a nightmare."
Mayor Vincent Gray says there are no specific threats against D.C., but in light of the bombings in Boston, preliminary readiness plans had been put in place.
“I wanna say at the outset we stand ready," said D.C. Mayor Gray.
D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said that visitors on Tuesday will see a visible increase in police presence.
Outside the White House, armed officers have closed off Pennsylvania Avenue to pedestrian traffic. The Pentagon has also responded by adding more officers in and outside the building. At metro stations like L'Enfant plaza, metro transit K-9 units are inspecting the area.
"We do that any time there's an incident nationally or internationally until we are confident there is no threat to Washington D.C.,” Lanier said.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.