New England House members promise renewed vigor, mourn those lost in bombings

WASHINGTON—Six US House members from New England took to the floor this afternoon to mourn marathon victims, thank first responders, and promise—in the words of Representative Joe Kennedy III—that “next year on Patriots Day, the marathon will be run more crowded and louder than ever.”

The representatives spoke primarily about the four who lost their lives: Martin Richard, Krystle Campbell, Lu Lingzi, and MIT police officer Sean Collier.

“We will never, despite how much we have come together, be able to replace” them, Kennedy said.

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Representative William Keating of Bourne promised that the “lives of these young people ... will not be defined by a depraved act of violence of two individuals.”

“These people are the definers themselves, givers, people that care,” he said. “That’s who we are. They define us, the best in us, the selfless side in us. They define the best of what’s Boston.”

The House members also spoke about the personal connections that touched their congressional districts. Representative Niki Tsongas of Lowell noted that Sydney Corcoran, injured in the blast, was sent prom tickets in the hospital by students from Lowell High School. She also singled out Boston Commissioner Ed Davis for his many years as a beat officer in Lowell. Representative James McGovern of Worcester spoke warmly of a former intern, Patrick Downes, who was injured in the blast along with his wife.

They thanked their colleagues in Congress for reaching out to them and their constituents.

“Being from Massachusetts has carried a very special significance these past 12 days,” McGovern said.

As they thanked first responders, public officials, and regular people who helped in the aftermath of the bombing, they rekindled moments of inspiration. Tsongas said seeing Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s determination to leave the hospital in a wheelchair gave everyone in the city pride.

“He embodies the grit and toughness that Boston is known for,” she said. “He embodies Boston Strong.”

To that, Kennedy offered another tribute “to our sports teams, for the 17,000 strong that sang the national anthem in Boston Garden, and the 30,000 plus that belted it out at Fenway Park.”

Carol Shea-Porter of New Hampshire and David Cicilline of Providence also spoke, reminding that the effects of the bombings were felt beyond Massachusetts.