On Tuesday, families and friends of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings returned to the site of one of the bomb explosions, for the one year anniversary of the tragic event.

Families and friends gathered to pay tribute to the victims of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, which killed three and injured 264. While elsewhere, Marathon staff and police have been working around the clock in preparation for the annual race, which is expected to host over 35,000 participants from all over the world.

In response to last year’s Boston marathon bombings and the increased number of participants, safety and security measures has been significantly tightened according to the Boston Athletic Association. In addition to the increased police presence throughout the race, observation points and over 100 security cameras have been installed throughout the Boston portion of the marathon.

Participants have also been barred from carrying any backpacks and handbags into any Boston Marathon venue and the start and finish areas. While spectators haven’t been explicitly banned from carrying or bringing large items such as backpacks or strollers, individuals are discouraged from bringing such items and may be subject to search.

Despite the increased security measures and the lingering memories of the tragic events of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, spirits have continued to remain high as participants finish final training regimens and begin to descend on Boston, Mass. for the annual Marathon, which will be held next Monday, on April 21.

Take a closer look at the ceremonies and preparations behind the Boston Marathon in photos below.