Campbell’s devastated family issued a statement Thursday thanking those who tried to save Krystle’s life. “Furthermore, we are thankful for the outpouring of prayers, love, and support from our friends and families, the great community of Medford, the city of Boston, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the nation and the world,” the family said.
Lingzi Lu’s family, in a statement, said of their lost daughter: “It has always been her dream to come to America to study. While she was here, she fell in love with Boston and its people.”
More than 170 people were wounded in the blasts, many grievously. Fifty-seven remained in Boston hospitals Thursday, including six in critical condition, down from 12 critical patients Wednesday.
At the interfaith service dedicated to the victims, President Obama delivered a moving speech designed to comfort, but not coddle.
“If they sought to intimidate us, to terrorize us, to shake us from those 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,” the president thundered.
It was also a thoroughly Boston-centric speech that drew on Obama’s familiarity with the city, from his time at Harvard Law School from 1988 to 1991. He mentioned city icons: the State House’s golden dome, the Boston Common and the Public Garden, the T system and Fenway Park, as well as living icons, such as the Hoyts, the father-son Marathon team honored this month with a bronze statue near the starting line in Hopkinton.
“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,’ ” Obama said. “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.”
The president, sadly, has had plenty of practice delivering soothing words after mass killings, following attacks at Fort Hood in 2009; Tucson in 2011; and Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, Conn., in 2012. In each of those speeches, Obama spoke eloquently of the victims. His Boston remarks were unique for their vivid and damning description of the perpetrators, whom Obama called “small, stunted individuals who would destroy instead of build, and think somehow that makes them important.”
After the service, Obama visited victims and their families at Massachusetts General Hospital, and thanked the hospital staff.
“He was extremely complimentary and I think, as he left those areas, people were thankful that he came. They were honored,” nurse Alice Gervasini said after the president’s visit.
Obama also met with responders and volunteers who tended to the wounded. “You’ve inspired the entire country,” he told them. “You’ve inspired the world. And for that, you should be profoundly proud.”
Michelle Obama visited with patients, families, and staff at Boston Children’s and Brigham and Women’s hospitals.
Not far away, a 10-block area of the Back Bay remained closed to the public Thursday as the investigation continued, city officials said. The area included Boylston Street, where the bombings occurred, and all side streets between Newbury Street and Huntington Avenue, though those thoroughfares were open, said John Guilfoil, a spokesman for Mayor Thomas M. Menino. The area extended east to Clarendon Street, and was bounded on the west by Hereford, Dalton, and Belvidere streets.
Deb Seifert — a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives — said explosive specialists had processed approximately 70 percent of the scene affected by the blasts. She could not say how long the rest of the process would last. “It’s slow and methodical,” she said. “We have an obligation to the victims and their families to conduct a thorough investigation.”
In Washington Thursday, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told a congressional committee that investigators did not yet know if the bombing was a plot by domestic or foreign terrorists.
“The investigation is proceeding apace,” she said. “This is not an ‘NCIS’ episode. Sometimes you have to take time to properly put the chain together to identify the perpetrators, but everybody’s committed to seeing that that gets done in the right way.”
Investigators combing the enormous crime scene earlier this week collected bomb fragments and concluded that at least one of the bombs was fashioned from a household pressure cooker.Continued...