Comforter-in-chief is a role President Obama has had to play all too often recently. And after this week’s Boston Marathon bombing, it’s one he had to sadly fill yet again.
At the pulpit of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross for an interfaith service honoring the victims Thursday, the president quoted scripture, mourned the dead, and paid tribute to those who offered their help and their comfort in the days since Monday's deadly bombing.
"We carry on....we come together to celebrate life," Obama said.
Obama stood alongside civilian responders after the shooting in Tucson and made sure to focus on the courage shown by moviegoers when gunfire broke out inside a theater in Aurora, Colo., last July. In December, he once again traveled to the scene of unthinkable tragedy when he visited the families of those whose lives were shattered in Newtown, Conn. Repeatedly, the president has stood before crowds to honor the lives of those killed and reflected on the faith and strength it would take for those left behind to carry on.
"The loss of these wonderful people should make every one of us strive to be better," he said after the deadly shooting in Arizona. After Aurora, he vowed that, "even in the darkest of days, life continues, and people are strong and people bounce back and people are resilient." Following Newtown: "Whatever portion of sadness that we can share with you to ease this heavy load, we will gladly bear it." And in Boston, he quoted from the Bible and 2 Timothy, saying, "God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline."
The crowd applauded as President Obama left the altar and remained standing even as the comforter-in-chief returned, grim-faced, to his seat.