Three days after the bombings at the Boston Marathon, President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, local officials and religious leaders honored those killed and wounded and the spirit of Bostonians at a service in Boston.
The Obamas were seated in the front pew at Boston’s Church of the Holy Cross as religious leaders paid tribute to the dead, wounded, first responders, and the people of Boston.
Rev. Liz Walker of the Roxbury Presbyterian Church spoke about strength of community in the face of evil.
“We are members of one another, a community of resilience, hard-pressed but not defeated, confounded but not consumed,” she said.
There were tributes from other Christian denominations, and Jewish and Islamic faith leaders.
Mayor Tom Menino paid tribute to those killed in the attacks: 8-year-old Martin Richard, 29-year-old Krystle Campbell, and 23-year-old Chinese student Lu Lingzi.
Saying nothing can tear down the resilience of Boston, he said the city and its marathon will come back even stronger next year.
“It will push us forward, push us, thousands and thousands and thousands of people, across the finish line next year. Because this is Boston – a city with courage, compassion and strength that knows no bounds,” said Menino.
“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 and the media has turned its attention elsewhere, that the grace this tragedy exposed is the best of who we are,” said Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.
Obama called the resolve of the people of Boston the greatest rebuke to those who 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,” the president said.
Obama said Bostonians will run again and the country will be with them on their long journey of recovery.
To those who perpetrated the attacks and anyone who would do harm to Americans, he said, “Yes we will find you, and yes you will face justice.”
White House officials said the Obamas visited with family members of Krystle Campbell, one of the three killed in the marathon attacks.
Obama also stopped at Massachusetts General Hospital, where many of the wounded from the attacks are undergoing treatment.