Our prayers are with the Richard family of Dorchester—to Denise and their young daughter, Jane, as they fight to recover. And our hearts are broken for 8-year-old Martin—with his big smile and bright eyes. His last hours were as perfect as an 8-year-old boy could hope for—with his family, eating ice cream at a sporting event. And we’re left with two enduring images of this little boy—forever smiling for his beloved Bruins, and forever expressing a wish he made on a blue poster board: “No more hurting people. Peace.”
No more hurting people. Peace.
Our prayers are with the injured -— so many wounded, some gravely. From their beds, some are surely watching us gather here today. And if you are, know this: As you begin this long journey of recovery, your city is with you. Your commonwealth is with you. Your country is with you. We will all be with you as you learn to stand and walk and, yes, run again. Of that I have no doubt. You will run again. (Applause.) You will run again. (Applause.)
Because that’s what the people of Boston are made of. Your resolve is the greatest rebuke to whoever committed this heinous act. If they sought to intimidate us, to terrorize us, to shake us from those values that Deval described, the values that make us who we are, as Americans—well, it should be pretty clear by now that they picked the wrong city to do it. (Applause.) Not here in Boston. Not here in Boston. (Applause.)
You’ve shown us, Boston, that in the face of evil, Americans will lift up what’s good. In the face of cruelty, we will choose compassion. In the face of those who would visit death upon innocents, we will choose to save and to comfort and to heal. We’ll choose friendship. We’ll choose love.
Scripture teaches us, “God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” And that’s the spirit you’ve displayed in recent days.
When doctors and nurses, police and firefighters and EMTs and Guardsmen run towards explosions to treat the wounded—that’s discipline.
When exhausted runners, including our troops and veterans—who never expected to see such carnage on the streets back home—become first responders themselves, tending to the injured—that’s real power.
When Bostonians carry victims in their arms, deliver water and blankets, line up to give blood, open their homes to total strangers, give them rides back to reunite with their families—that’s love.
That’s the message we send to those who carried this out and anyone who would do harm to our people. Yes, we will find you. And, yes, you will face justice. (Applause.) We will find you. We will hold you accountable. But more than that; our fidelity to our way of life—to our free and open society—will only grow stronger. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but one of power and love and self-discipline.
Like Bill Iffrig, 78 years old—the runner in the orange tank top who we all saw get knocked down by the blast—we may be momentarily knocked off our feet, but we’ll pick ourselves up. We’ll keep going. We will finish the race. (Applause.) In the words of Dick Hoyt, who’s pushed his disabled son, Rick, in 31 Boston Marathons—“We can’t let something like this stop us.” (Applause.) This doesn’t stop us. (Applause.)
And that’s what you’ve taught us, Boston. That’s what you’ve reminded us—to push on. To persevere. To not grow weary. To not get faint. Even when it hurts. Even when our heart aches. We summon the strength that maybe we didn’t even know we had, and we carry on. We finish the race. (Applause.) We finish the race. (Applause.)
And we do that because of who we are. And we do that because we know that somewhere around the bend a stranger has a cup of water. Around the bend, somebody is there to boost our spirits. On that toughest mile, just when we think that we’ve hit a wall, someone will be there to cheer us on and pick us up if we fall. We know that. (Applause.)
And that’s what the perpetrators of such senseless violence—these small, stunted individuals who would destroy instead of build, and think somehow that makes them important—that’s what they don’t understand. Our faith in each other, our love for each other, our love for country, our common creed that cuts across whatever superficial differences there may be—that is our power. That’s our strength.
That’s why a bomb can’t beat us. That’s why we don’t hunker down. That’s why we don’t cower in fear. We carry on. We race. We strive. We build, and we work, and we love—and we raise our kids to do the same. And we come together to celebrate life, and to walk our cities, and to cheer for our teams. When the Sox and Celtics and Patriots or Bruins are champions again—to the chagrin of New York and Chicago fans—(laughter)—the crowds will gather and watch a parade go down Boylston Street. (Applause.) Continued...