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Ceremony in Boston

Aired April 18, 2013 - 12:00   ET


DEVAL PATRICK, GOVERNOR OF MASSACHUSETTS: End of our long winter hibernation and the first battle of the American Revolution. And just as we are taught at times like this not to lose touch with our spiritual faith, let us also not lose touch with our civic faith. Massachusetts invented America. And America -- America is not organized the way countries are usually organized. We're not organized around a common language or religion or even culture. We're organized around a handful of civic ideals. And we have defined those ideals over time and through struggle as equality, opportunity, freedom and fair play. An attack on our civic ritual, like the marathon especially on Patriot's Day, is an attack on those values. And just as we cannot permit darkness and hate to triumph over our spiritual faith, so we must not permit darkness and hate to triumph over our civic faith. That cannot happen. And it will not.

And so -- so we will recover and repair. We will grieve our losses and heal. We will rise. And we will endure. We will have accountability without vengeance. Vigilance without fear. And we will remember, I hope and pray, long after the buzz of Boylston Street is back that the media has turned its attention elsewhere, that the grace this tragedy exposed is the best of who we are.

Fellow citizens, I am honored - I am honored and humbled to welcome our friend, our leader, our commander in chief, the president of the United States.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Hello, Boston. Scripture tells us to run with endurance the race that is set before us, run with endurance the race that is set before us. On Monday morning, the sun rose over Boston, the sunlight glistened off the State House Dome. In the Common, in the Public Garden, spring was in bloom.

On this Patriot's Day, like so many before, fans jumped onto the T to see the Sox at Fenway. In Hopkinton, runners laced up their shoes and set out on a 26.2-mile test of dedication and grit and the human spirit. And across this city, hundreds of thousands of Bostonians lined the streets to hand the runners cups of water and to cheer them on.

It was a beautiful day to be in Boston, a day that explains why a poet once wrote that this town is not just a capital, not just a place. Boston, he said, is the perfect state of grace.


OBAMA: And then, in an instant, the day's beauty was shattered.

A celebration became a tragedy. And so we come together to pray and mourn and measure our loss, but we also come together today to reclaim that state of grace, to reaffirm that the spirit of this city is undaunted and the spirit of this country shall remain undimmed.

To Governor Patrick, Mayor Menino, Cardinal O'Malley, and all the faith leaders who are here, Governors Romney, Swift, Weld, and Dukakis, members of Congress, and most of all, the people of Boston and the families who've lost a piece of your heart, we thank you for your leadership, we thank you for your courage, we thank you for your grace.

I'm here today on behalf of the American people with a simple message: Every one of us has been touched by this attack on your beloved city. Every one of us stands with you.

Because after all, it's our beloved city, too. Boston may be your hometown, but we claim it, too. It's one of America's iconic cities. It's one of the world's great cities.

And one of the reasons the world knows Boston so well is that Boston opens its heart to the world. Over successive generations, you've welcomed again and again new arrivals to our shores, immigrants who constantly reinvigorated this city and this commonwealth and our nation.

Every fall, you welcome students from all across America and all across the globe. And every spring, you graduate them back into the world, a Boston diaspora that excels in every field of human endeavor. Year after year, you welcome the greatest talents in the arts and science, research. You welcome them to your concert halls and your hospitals and your laboratories to exchange ideas and insights that draw this world together.

And every third Monday in April, you welcome people from all around the world to the hub for friendship and fellowship and healthy competition, a gathering of men and women of every race and every religion, every shape and every size, a multitude represented by all those flags that flew over the finish line.

So whether folks come here to Boston for just today or they stay here for years, they leave with a piece of this town tucked firmly into their hearts. So Boston's your hometown, but we claim it a little bit, too. I know this --


I know this because there's a piece of Boston in me. You welcomed me as a young law student across the river. Welcomed Michelle, too.

OBAMA: You welcomed me--


You welcomed me during a convention when I was still a state senator and very few people could pronounce my name right.


Like you, Michelle and I have walked these streets. Like you, we know these neighborhoods. And like you, in this moment of grief, we join you in saying: Boston, you're my home.

For millions of us, what happened on Monday is personal. It's personal. Today our prayers are with the Campbell family of Medford. They're here today. Their daughter, Krystle, was always smiling. Those who knew her said that with her red hair and her freckles and her ever-eager willingness to speak her mind, she was beautiful. Sometimes she'd be a little noisy, and everybody loved her for it. She would have turned 30 next month. As her mother said through her tears, this doesn't make any sense.

Our prayers are with the Lu family of China, who sent their daughter, Lingzi, to BU so that she could experience all that this city has to offer. She was a 23-year-old student far from home. And in the heartache of her family and friends on both sides of the great ocean, we're reminded of the humanity that we all share.

Our prayers are with the Richard family of Dorchester, to Denise and the 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.


You will run again.


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.


Not here in Boston.


Not here in Boston.


You showed 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.

The 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 carried 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.


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 the 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.


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.


This doesn't stop us.


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. We finish the race.


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's 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.


And that's what the perpetrators of such senseless violence, these- 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, the crowds will gather and watch a parade go down Boylston Street.

And this time next year, on the third Monday in April, the world will return to this great American city to run harder than ever and to cheer even louder for that 118th Boston Marathon.


Bet on it.


Tomorrow, the sun will rise over Boston. Tomorrow, the sun will rise over this country that we love, this special place, this state of grace. Scripture tells us to run with endurance the race that is set before us. As we do, may God hold close those who've been taken from us too soon, may he comfort their families, and may he continue to watch over these United States of America.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As we come to the conclusion of our prayer service this morning, we just -- a reminder to everyone here in the cathedral to remain in their places until the president and Mrs. Obama have securely exited the building.

I invite you to kindly stand now for our concluding blessing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Lord be with you.

Let us pray.

May the Lord preserve your going forth and your coming in.

May the Lord bless you and protect you.

May the lord smile on you and be gracious to you.

May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.



CHRIS CUOMO, ANCHOR, "CNN AROUND THE WORLD": As the congregation sings "America, the Beautiful," all voices in unison in worship of the country they all share and love, they will wait until the president and first lady exit the Chapel of the Holy Cross.

But the service is over now with the singing of the song as we listen in to the final verse.

And with that, the prayer that's being called "Healing Our City" ends. The president is leaving with the first lady. The congregation will wait for their exit.

A very moving service as expected, different members of the clergy imploring the congregation and millions of those listening in to remember unity before disunity, to remember love before the actions of those who decide to hate.

The president drawing great applause when he delivered the line, "your resolve is the greatest rebuke to whoever committed this heinous act."

We welcome all our viewers in the United States and around the world to CNN's coverage of this special prayer service, "Healing Our City," here in Boston.

You're watching former Governor Mitt Romney leave the service.

This was a day where there was no Republican or Democrat. There are only people who are joined in the spirit of moving forward from the terrible actions that happened here during the Boston marathon just this past Monday.

I'm joined by Jessica Yellin and John King here in Boston.

When the president said, Jessica, we will finish the race, obviously such strong metaphorical impact, such rousing applause. You could feel it even out here. It was a big line.

JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: A big line with multiple meanings for the president.

He means it both in terms of we will finish this investigation, we will catch the people who did this, but he also means America never stops, and America moves forward.

For the president, he is -- and he knows that he's very good in these moments, that it's his role to unify the nation in the wake of a tragedy like this. And it's his role to remind everybody that we go on.

This was a speech that for him is especially touching. It's a city his whole family has a connection to. Not only did he go to school here, Mrs. Obama did. His own father went to Harvard University as well. So they've all spent time here.

And I know the speech was written by a speech writer in the shop -- I think Jerry Zuklat (ph) is somebody who grew up in Boston and has a connection here.

And it's an important moment for the president to remind all of us that no terrorism stops this country.

CUOMO: And it's interesting, though, very intentionally, John, compassionate in the face of even brutality, that, yes, there will be justice, you will be found.

But a lot of resonance in this speech about we have to choose to be better.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Whether you're a fan of this president or not, when it comes to his political ideology, his policies, I think you'd have to --