“Small, stunted individuals who would destroy instead of build” do not understand that “a bomb can’t beat us,” President Obama said Thursday in Boston.
His emotional vow came during an interfaith service to remember the victims of Monday’s marathon bombings. It was also a service that served as a celebration of the American spirit and the bravery of the first responders, volunteers and spectators who rushed to the aid of those who were caught in the explosions.
“God has not give us the spirit of fear and timidity,” Obama said, “but one of power and love and self-discipline.”
“Our fidelity to our way of life, to a free and open society, will only grow stronger,” the president said.
And to those responsible for the bombings, Obama had this message: “Yes, we will find you; and yes, you will face justice.”
We live blogged the service in today’s post about developments related to the bombings and the investigation into who was responsible. Some of the other highlights from the gathering at Boston’s Cathedral of the Holy Cross:
– His faith, said Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, teaches that “in everything, give thanks. That isn’t always easy to do.” But after Monday’s “cowardice,” he found reasons to give thanks — for the first responders, the volunteers, the medical professionals, the police and most of all, the people of Boston who “let their first instinct be kindness.”
“The grace this tragedy exposed is the best of who we are,” Patrick added.
– Rev. Nancy Taylor of Old South Church told how her place of worship holds a service for Boston marathoners each year. The church sends the runners off with these words from the Prophet Isaiah: “May you run and not grow weary, may you walk and not grow faint.” On Monday, she said, she saw marathoners running “toward the danger” and sacrificing themselves for others.
– His voice choking, Mayor Thomas Menino (D) said that after the bombings, “love has covered this resilient city. I have never loved it and its people more than I do today.” He praised “the brave ones who felt the blast and still raced to the smoke.” The love and the bravery gives those in Boston, the victims and their families the strength to carry on, he said. “We triumphed over that hateful act.”