Obama: ‘Even When Our Heart Aches… We Finish the Race.’

President Barack Obama speaks at the interfaith service in the South End on Thursday for the victims of the Boston Marathon terror bombings.


Mentioning scripture, sports teams, marathon icons, and harkening back to his days of living in the Boston area, President Barack Obama spoke during an interfaith service in the South End on Thursday.

“Like you, Michelle and I have walked these streets. Like you, we know these neighborhoods. And like you, in this moment of grief, we join you in saying — ‘Boston, you’re my home.’ For millions of us, what happened on Monday is personal. It’s personal,” said Obama, from the Cathredal of the Holy Cross. President Obama was the last speaker in an emotionally-charged service that also included speeches, and a moving performance by the Boston Children’s Chorus. 

Click here for the full text of President Obama’s speech.

Of the three victims, the president spoke of the liveliness of Medford native Krystle Campbell; Chinese national Lu Lingzi’s coming to BU as a grad student; and 8-year-old Martin Richard of Dorchester. President Obama mentioned a picture being widely circulated of Richard, holding a handwritten sign that read: “No more hurting people. Peace.” Obama repeated the phrase with emphasis.

“Our prayers are with the injured — so many wounded, some gravely. From their beds, some are surely watching us gather here today,” said Obama. “And if you are, know this: As you begin this long journey of recovery, your city is with you. Your commonwealth is with you. Your country is with you. We will all be with you as you learn to stand and walk and, yes, run again. Of that I have no doubt. You will run again. You will run again.” 

Obama promised that whoever committed the heinous acts at the Boston Marathon would be found and brought to justice.

But President Obama focused on the resiliency of Boston, and spoke with great pride in how Bostonians came together during the tragic events.

“When doctors and nurses, police and firefighters and EMTs and Guardsmen run towards explosions to treat the wounded — that’s discipline,” said Obama. “When exhausted runners, including our troops and veterans — who never expected to see such carnage on the streets back home — become first responders themselves, tending to the injured — that’s real power.” 

Obama quoted one of the greatest Boston Marathon icons — Dick Hoyt, who has pushed his disabled son, Rick, in 31 Boston Marathons. “We can’t let something like this stop us.”

And President Obama also placed a bet: “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.”

South End Patch