‘We will win the race:’ President Obama speaks at Boston interfaith memorial

President Barack Obama speaks at an interfaith prayer service for victims of the Boston Marathon. Credit: Getty Images
President Barack Obama speaks at an interfaith prayer service for victims of the Boston Marathon. Credit: Getty Images

President Barack Obama on Thursday promised justice for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing and sent a message to the perpetrators, who he described as “small, stunted individuals” who destroy instead of build: “we will find you.  And, yes, you will face justice.”

Obama joined local speakers, including Governor Deval Patrick, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley at The Cathedral of the Holy Cross in the South End for an interfaith gathering that brought together Christian, Jewish and Muslim religious leaders for a healing service designed to let the community grieve and share support.

During his 20-minute speech, which often drew standing ovations and gospel-style shouts from the 2,000-plus crowd, Obama pleaded with Bostonians to summon their strength, and “finish the race.”

“If they sought to intimidate us, to terrorize us, to shake us from those values … that define us as Americans, it should be pretty clear by now that they picked the wrong city to do it to. Not here in Boston,” Obama said, driving home the point that the city would not be intimidated by the twin blasts, which also injured 176 people in a crowd of thousands.

He also vowed to return to Boston next year to cheer on runners at the 118th Boston Marathon.

“We may be momentarily knocked off our feet, but we’ll pick ourselves up. We’ll keep going.  We will finish the race.”

Mayor Menino took the podium about 30 minutes before The President, delivering an emotional affirmation of Boston’s unity.

“This is Boston, a city with courage, compassion and strength that knows no bounds,” said Menino, who was rolled to the podium in a wheelchair but stood for his remarks despite breaking a leg over the weekend. “We love the brave ones who felt the blast and still raced through the smoke with ringing in his ears … to answer cries of those in need.”

The service comes the day after the FBI arrested a Mississippi man in connection with letters believed to contain the deadly poison ricin and sent to federal officials, including Obama.

The FBI said there was no indication of a connection between the ricin letters and the Boston bomb attacks, but they reminded Americans of anthrax mail attacks in the wake of the Sept. 11 suicide hijackings 12 years ago.

Hundreds of people crowded outside the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston’s South End, about a mile from the bombing site.

“President Obama knows how important the city of Boston is to the nation and the world,” said 55-year-old John Snyder, who had joined the line before sunrise. “He is bringing his light to us for much-needed healing.”

Video search

Investigators believe the Boston bombs were fashioned out of pressure cookers and packed with shrapnel. Ten victims lost limbs, and emergency room doctors reported plucking nails and ball bearing from the wounded.

Police had considered making an appeal to the public for more information at a news conference on Wednesday, a U.S. government source said, but the FBI canceled it after a number of delays.

Boston police and FBI officials said on Thursday that they had not determined whether they would publicly release more details of the investigation.

The bombs in Boston killed an 8-year-old boy, Martin Richard; a 29-year-old woman, Krystle Campbell; and a Boston University graduate student and Chinese citizen, Lu Lingzi.

Ahead of his visit, Obama declared a state of emergency in Massachusetts, a move that makes federal funding available to the state as it copes with the aftermath of the bombing.

The crowded scene along the race course in central Boston on Monday was recorded by surveillance cameras and media outlets, providing investigators with significant video footage of the area before and after the two blasts.

Based on the shards of metal, fabric, wires and a battery recovered at the scene, the focus turned to whoever may have placed homemade bombs in pressure cooker pots and taken them in heavy black nylon bags to the finish line of the world-famous race.

Tens of thousands of people turn out to watch and run in the marathon, which comes on a state holiday and is one of New England’s best-attended sporting events.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NBA

Deron Williams leads Nets over Raptors in Game…

The Nets traveled to a raucous Air Canada Centre but came out with an important Game 1 victory over the Raptors.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.