Once again, our nation, our people, our way of life has come under attack. Another cowardly act of anger and hatred has killed and injured our citizens. My heart goes out to the people of Boston, to the athletes who worked so hard to make it to the starting line of one of our nation’s premiere running events, to the friends and family members who supported their loved ones through months of training and were there on the sidelines to cheer them on and celebrate their accomplishment, to the race organizers and to the aid workers who acted quickly and courageously to tend to our fallen.
What must go through the addled mind of someone who perpetuates such an unspeakable act of devastation? What does that person hope to accomplish through such a senseless act of violence and destruction? Perhaps these lost and misled souls are confused by who we are, angered by the way we live, and filled with hatred over what we possess—freedom.
Have they forgotten that this is the land of the free and the home of the brave? We are a nation of people who are resilient and strong and, despite our shortcomings and our complaints about the government and the economy, we are, at our core, grateful for all we have and proud of who we are. We are free to vote, travel, work, worship, celebrate, live and love as we choose. And though we are free to go, we stay, for we know there is no better place on earth to be, and we fight for what is right and just in hopes of making the world a better place for all.
And among the brave, strong and courageous people of our nation are our athletes—some of who had trained and sacrificed for months to earn the right to run in Boston on Monday—men and women who are disciplined and determined, who are not afraid of pain or failure, and who welcome challenge and adversity with open arms.
So if the cowards of the world think that by crashing our airplanes and detonating explosives they can make us live in fear and prevent us from pursuing our dreams, then they simply do not understand that our power and strength comes from within, and though what happened at Boston surely breaks our hearts, it will not break our spirit.
In the aftermath of Boston, Americans will unite as we always do in times of crisis. We will lift each other up and stand together against hatred and terrorism, protecting the freedom and liberties we cherish and seeking justice for those who mistakenly think they can take it away. And those who earn the privilege of running in Boston next year will not only run in pursuit of their own dreams, but in honor of all those who ran before them and on behalf of those who no longer can, and they will cross the finish line victorious and triumphant over evil.