RTÉ's Cian McCormack writes that despite the showings of solidarity, the fallout from the Boston bombings - and what happens to the suspect - may eventually prove divisive.
Charles Doherty stretched his arm as high as he could, writing "Boston you're my home" on the red-bricked facade of the Nike store on Newbury Street in Boston.
His son Andrew pushed upwards against his back supporting him with two hands, so he could reach above the hundreds of messages scribbled below.
"They've left chalk out for people to write messages. It's just to express some emotion and their love to the city, their love to the first responders, their love to the families who were injured," Charles said.
The Doherty family, like thousands of Bostonians that day, was paying their respects at memorials that popped up throughout the centre of Boston after the bombings.
"There was a message in what they (the bombers) were trying to say. But now we are sending a message back. We came together as a city, a state, as a country. We are strong people here," said Charles.
The memorials, the candle-lit vigils, the out pouring of emotion do not hide the anger generated from the loss of life and injury to the city's psyche.
"There is a lot of anger, a lot of emotion. We are glad he was taken alive and justice will be served. We are mad with these individuals for what they did," said Charles.
Despite the showings of solidarity, the fallout from the bombings - and what happens to suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev - may eventually prove divisive.
Charles Doherty says Bostonians "try to keep an open mind".
"In this country, as hard as it is to say on a day like today, he is innocent until proven guilty. I mean, he will have his day in court," said Mr Doherty.
But there are other opinions too.
Driving to the airport, the taxi driver takes a tougher line. "Next year, they should hang him from the finish line like a piñata," he said.
"Actually, they should kill him right now. Why are they keeping him alive. It’s costing money," he added.
For the taxi driver, treating Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in hospital is a waste of money.
In his mind, the 19-year is guilty and should endure the death penalty as soon as possible.
Although extreme, he is not the only person with this view.
Others too, on separate occasions, gave similar opinions and complained about tax dollars being used to keep the bombing suspect alive in hospital.
The Boston bombings may have brought the city’s community together, but it could set a collision course for those exact same people.
Some will want blood, others won't.