President Obama delivered remarks at an interfaith prayer service for Boston bomb victims at Holy Cross Cathedral in Boston, Mass., on April 18, 2013.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: 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 commons, 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 Bostonians lined the streets to hand the runners cups of water, 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. (Applause.)
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 the country shall remained 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 reason(s), 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, in 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.