President Obama used his weekly address to recount acts of heroism and generosity in response to this week’s Boston Marathon bombing, declaring that the nation’s spirit will not be shaken.
The following days saw more bloodshed as a campus security officer was killed, along with one of the suspects, during a tense manhunt that put the entire Boston area on lockdown.
“But in the days since, the world has witnessed one sure and steadfast truth: Americans refuse to be terrorized,” Obama said. “Ultimately, that’s what we’ll remember from this week. That’s what will remain. Stories of heroism and kindness; resolve and resilience; generosity and love.”
The president lauded the actions of police officers, emergency medical technicians and the national guard, who “ran toward danger” to help the injured. Also helping, Obama recounted, were race volunteers, spectators and exhausted runners, some of whom reportedly continued running to the hospital to donate blood for the victims.
He said the United States’ reaction to attacks upon its own is part of what defines the nation.
“If anyone wants to know who we are; what America is; how we respond to evil and terror – that’s it,” he said. “Selflessly. Compassionately. And unafraid."
Obama offered a public thanks to law enforcement and federal authorities called upon to investigate the crimes. A manhunt appeared to end late Friday, when a man believed to be Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, was taken into custody after a standoff in Boston’s Watertown neighborhood.
His older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, died after being hit numerous times during a pre-dawn firefight with police.
“As a country, we are eternally grateful for the profound sacrifices they make in the line of duty – sometimes making the ultimate sacrifice to defend the people they’ve sworn to protect,” Obama said.
It was a busy week for the law enforcement community, which was also called upon to track the suspect now in custody for sending a series of poison-laced letters to Obama and Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.).
Paul Kevin Curtis of Corinth, Miss., faces as many as 15 years in prison, following his Wednesday arrest.