Boston Marathon deadly blasts: Politicians, public officials react

An unidentified Boston Marathon runner is comforted as she cries in the aftermath of two blasts which exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in...
An unidentified Boston Marathon runner is comforted as she cries in the aftermath of two blasts which exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in...
Elise Amendola/AP Photo

Updated Tuesday, 10:42 AM

In the aftermath of the two explosions which occurred at the Boston Marathon on Monday, President Obama, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, and other public officials expressed their condolences to the victims and described the government’s response to the attack. Below are excerpts from their public statements.

“This was a heinous and cowardly act, and given what we now know about what took place, the FBI is investigating it as an act of terrorism. Any time bombs are used to target innocent civilians, it is an act of terror. What we don’t yet know, however, is who carried out this attack or why; whether it was planned and executed by a terrorist organization, foreign or domestic, or was the act of a malevolent individual. That’s what we don’t yet know, and clearly we’re at the beginning of our investigation. It will take time to follow every lead and determine what happened, but we will find out. We will find whoever harmed our citizens, and we will bring them to justice.

“We also know this: The American people refuse to be terrorized. Because what the world say yesterday in the aftermath of the explosions were stories of heroism, and kindness, and generosity, and love. Exhausted runners who kept running to the nearest hospital to give blood, and those who stayed to tend to the wounded, some tearing off their own clothes to make torniquets. The first responders who ran into the chaos to save lives. The men and women who are still treating the wounded at some of the best hospitals in the world. And the medical students who ran to help, saying, ‘When we heard, we all came in.’ The priests who opened their churches and ministered to the hurt and the fearful, and the good people of Boston who opened their homes to the victims of this attack, and those shaken by it. So if you want to know who we are, what America is, how we respond to evil, that’s it. Selflessly, compassionately, unafraid.” — President Barack Obama

“Patriots Day and Marathon Monday are usually celebrated all across Boston, but today our cheers were turned to prayers. But Boston is strong and resilient, and we come together in times of need. We will get through this, and we will find those responsible.” — Boston Mayor Thomas Menino

“This is a horrific day in Boston. My thoughts and prayers are with those who have been injured. I have been in touch with the president, [Boston] Mayor [Thomas] Menino and our public safety leaders. Our focus is on making sure that the area around Copley Square is safe and secured. I am asking everyone to stay away from Copley Square and let the first responders do their jobs.” — Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick

“My thoughts and prayers are with those who lost loved ones as a result of the explosions in Boston.  Please know that you are not alone in your sorrow.  I pray that those who suffered wounds recover fully and I thank our emergency personnel for their efforts today. Like so many others, I have many questions about the events today that cannot yet be answered.  However, I do know that we will stand together during this difficult time.” — Rep. Capuano, D-Mass.

“The Boston marathon is always a day of great celebration, and today it was turned into tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have been hurt, and their families. During the marathon we are one family. We cheer for each other, we carry each other across the finish lines. And when tragedy strikes, we are also one family. We hurt together, we help each other together”. — Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.

“The United States government is appropriately focused on finding the facts hours after the horrific explosions at the Boston Marathon. This afternoon’s attack is deeply personal to all of us who call that city our home. For any father who has cheered on a daughter as she made her way up ‘Heartbreak Hill,’ or fired the starting gun at the wheelchair race, today’s attack was an assault on who we are in Massachusetts on a Patriot’s Day that honors where we came from. Teresa and I are thinking of and praying for the families of those who were touched by this tragedy, even as our government makes clear, as President Obama did, that those responsible will be brought to justice. I’ve seen Governor Patrick, Mayor Menino, and Boston’s finest police, firefighters, and first responders handle a crisis before, and I’m grateful that they are on the scene responding so effectively to this one.” — Secretary of State John Kerry

“Words cannot begin to express our sorrow for the families who are grieving so suddenly right now.  The House of Representatives offers its prayers to the victims and the city of Boston.   We also give thanks for the professionals and Good Samaritans who prevented further loss of life.  This is a terrible day for all Americans, but we will carry on in the American spirit, and come together with grace and strength.” — House Speaker John Boehner

“On 9/11, we were forever disabused of the notion that attacks like the one that rocked Boston yesterday only happen on the field of battle, or in distant countries. With the passage of time, however, and the vigilant efforts of our military, intelligence and law enforcement professionals, I think it’s safe to say that, for many, the complacency that prevailed prior to September 11th has returned. And so we are newly reminded that serious threats to our way of life remain. And today, again, we recommit ourselves to the fight against terrorism at home, and abroad.” — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone impacted by this incident in Boston, especially the families and loved ones of those injured. Federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies continue to respond, and at the President’s direction, the Department of Homeland Security is providing any support necessary in this ongoing investigation. We encourage the public to be vigilant, and to listen to direction from state and local officials.”  — Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano

“Like all Americans, the thoughts and prayers of our people at DoD, and all of Washington, are with the people of Boston today, especially the families of the victims and those injured by what appears to be a cruel act of terror. As the President said yesterday, we still do not know who did this or why, and a thorough investigation will have to determine whether it was planned and carried out by a terrorist group, foreign or domestic. It’s important not to jump to conclusions before we have all the facts. But as the White House said last night, any event with multiple explosive devices, as this appears to be, is clearly an act of terror, and will be approached as an act of terror.” — Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel

“The running of the Boston Marathon and Patriots Day are time-honored traditions. While the details of today’s tragedy are still unclear, one thing was immediately known: the patriotism and professionalism of public servants and first responders.  Our hearts go out to the first responders, runners, volunteers and spectators in Boston today.” — Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel

“Connecticut’s law enforcement officials and emergency responders are in close contact with their counterparts both in Massachusetts and with federal homeland security officials as we continue to receive information about the horrific events in Boston. We will offer our full support to our neighboring state and assist in any way we can.” — Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy

“As law enforcement authorities investigate today’s explosions in Boston, I ask all New Yorkers to keep the victims and their families in your thoughts and prayers. I have spoken with Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, and the NYPD has stepped up security at strategic locations and critical infrastructure, including our subways. Some of the security steps we are taking may be noticeable, including deployment of Critical Response Vehicles and additional police personnel, and others will not be. We have 1,000 members of the NYPD assigned to counter-terrorism duties, and they—along with the entire NYPD and the investments we have made in counter-terrorism infrastructure—are being fully mobilized to protect our city.” — New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Boston and Massachusetts as reports come in on the horrific tragedy at the Boston Marathon. I have directed state agencies, including the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, State Police, the MTA and the Port Authority, to be on a heightened state of alert as we learn more about this incident. New York National Guard on Sunday sent three vehicles and 6 soldiers to support the Marathon, and they are on hand to assist with emergency response and work together with local authorities following this incident.” — New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

Boston Marathon deadly blasts: Politicians, public officials react