Hundreds of thousands of people have attended the Boston marathon, cheering on the nearly 36,000 competitors one year after tragedy struck.Many spectators chose to cheer on runners from the spot where the two bombs exploded on 15 April 2013, claiming three lives and injuring more than 260 people.Amid tight security on Monday, marathon attendees reported mixed emotions.They said there was a sense of defiance and solidarity, but the memories sparked by that stretch of pavement were difficult to grapple with.
Defiance? Does it have anything to do with solidarity? Is it good choice of word? Defiance? As far as I am concerned, the word "defiance" has to do with perversity. Doing something to show that you do not respect something or someone else. But defiance towards who? The writer did not mention.
Sparked by ? Memories caused by?
Stretch of pavement? ( I did not find it in dictionaries )
At last, What was difficult to grapple with?
Memories sparked by that stretch of pavement? What does the writer mean by saying " memories sparked by that stretch of pavement" ?
Many thanks in advance.