United States President Barack Obama spoke at a memorial service for the Boston bombing victims Thursday. Addressing the unknown perpetrator, the president reiterated: "We will find you. You will face justice... We will hold you accountable."
Obama added: "Our fidelity to our way of life, to a free and open society will only grow stronger. For God has not given us spirit of fear and timidity, but one of power and love."
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"In this moment of grief, we join you in saying: Boston, you're my home. For millions of us, what happened in Monday is personal."
President Obama at the ceremony (Photo: EPA)
The president eulogized the three who died as a result of the attack – Krystle Campbell, 30, Lingzi Lu, 23, and Martin Richard, 8 – and delivered a message to the injured, saying: "As you begin this long journey of recovery, your city is with you… Your country is with you."
"You will run again," he added. Your resolve is the greatest rebuke to whoever committed this heinous act. If they sought to intimidate us, to terrorize us… well, it should be pretty clear by now that they picked the wrong city to do it."
Obama addressed the interfaith service, and by extension the United States, following the blasts that killed three people and wounded 176 in the worst attack on US soil since September 11, 2001. No arrests have yet been made in the investigation.
Hundreds of people crowded outside the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston's South End, about a mile (1.6 km) from the bombing site, before the service.
Obama couple in Boston service (Photo: AP)
"President Obama knows how important the city of Boston is to the nation and the world," said 55-year-old John Snyder, who had joined the line before sunrise. "He is bringing his light to us for much-needed healing."
Crowd outside cathedral (Photo: AP)
The service comes the day after the FBI arrested a Mississippi man in connection with letters believed to have contained the deadly poison ricin and sent to federal officials, including Obama. In a separate
incident on Wednesday, an explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant killed as many as 15 people.
The FBI said there was no indication of a connection between the ricin letters and the Boston bomb attacks, but they reminded Americans of anthrax mail attacks in the wake of the September 11 suicide hijackings 12 years ago.
Ahead of his visit, Obama declared a state of emergency in Massachusetts, a move that makes federal funding available to the state as it copes with the aftermath of the bombing.
The crowded scene along the race course in central Boston on Monday was recorded by surveillance cameras and media outlets, providing investigators with significant video footage of the area before and after the two blasts.
Based on the shards of metal, fabric, wires and a battery recovered at the scene, the focus turned to whoever may have placed homemade bombs in pressure cooker pots and taken them in heavy black nylon bags to the finish line of the world-famous race.
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