There was an Interfaith Service this morning in Boston, honoring those lost in Monday’s bombing, and President Obama delivered pretty powerful remarks. For those who can’t watch clips online, the transcript is available, though I found this portion to be especially effective:
“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 is 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 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 the 118th Boston Marathon. Bet on it.”