President Obama’s speech at an interfaith memorial service this afternoon for the victims of the Boston bombing was, at its core, a pep talk for a devastated city and nation.
“If they sought to intimidate us, to terrorize us, to shake us from those values … that make us who we are as Americans,” Obama declared, “well it should be pretty clear by now that they picked the wrong city to do it.”
Obama promised to bring the perpetrators of the bombing to justice, and expressed confidence that Boston would move forward undeterred.
“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,” he said, his speech reaching its crescendo. “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.”
As the audience stood to applaud, Obama added, emphatically, “Bet on it!”
In his speech, Obama also mourned the lives that were lost, and praised the everyday heroes who had stepped up in a moment of darkness. He wiped away tears as he sat down. It was a scene that, during Obama’s presidency, has become all too familiar.