US President Barack Obama told the people of
Boston Thursday that the bombing at the city's iconic marathon would
not beat them and vowed "we will finish the race."
"Even when our heart aches, we summon the strength that maybe we didn't even know we had, and we carry on; we finish the race," he said at an interfaith memorial service at the city's Cathedral of the Holy Cross.
Obama recalled the history of the city in the founding of the US and his own years as a law student at nearby Harvard University, describing the attack as "personal."
"Your resolve is the greatest rebuke to whoever committed this heinous act," Obama said. "If they sought to intimidate us, to terrorize us, to shake us ... it should be pretty clear by now that they picked the wrong city to do it."
Speaking directly to hospitalized victims from a memorial service, Obama vowed, "We will all be with you as you learn to stand and walk and even run again."
"I have no doubt you will run again. You will run again."
He promised justice for the still unknown perpetrators of the attack that killed three and wounded 176 when two bombs exploded at the race's finish line on Monday.
"Yes, we will find you and you will face justice," Obama pledged.
He met prior to the service with the family of Krystle Campbell, one of the three killed in the attack.
Obama has been continually briefed on the investigation into the two bombs at Monday's race, the White House said.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, and no suspects have been taken into custody although investigators have reportedly identified two suspects on surveillance video of the scene.
The service brought together Christian, Jewish and Muslim faith leaders, who offered words of comfort from their scriptures.
"Bless this broken city as she finds her balance, dusts herself off and tilts her head back to the sky," prayed the Reverend Liz Walker of Roxbury Presbyterian Church.
Catholic Cardinal Sean O'Malley vowed, "love is stronger than death."
Political officials, including former governor and presidential candidate Mitt Romney, were among the thousands packed into the cathedral, along with first responders and families of the victims.
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino praised his city Thursday for its resilience.
"We are one Boston. No adversity, no challenge - nothing can tear down the resilience in the heart of the city and its people," he said.
He pointed to brave actions by emergency workers and ordinary citizens who helped the injured and the outpouring of love in the days since Monday's bombings at the Boston Marathon.
"This was the compassion of the city at work," he said.
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