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At Boston Interfaith Service, Obama Calls for Justice and Compassion

By       Message James Wall       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   2 comments

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A Boston Marathon Interfaith memorial service, "Healing Our City," was held at Boston's Cathedral of the Holy Cross Thursday, April 18.

It was a service that concluded with remarks delivered by President Barack Obama.

The National Journal's Matthew Cooper called Obama's remarks "an emotional rallying point for the city." It was also, Cooper writes,

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"...a moment for Obama to speak to the nation and strike a tone between remembrance and optimism, a call for justice and a call for compassion."

The service included a local children's choir, prayers and remarks by political and religious leaders.

The service was held three days after two deadly explosions struck cheering bystanders at the Boston Marathon's finish line. Three people died, two young women and an 8-year old boy, all of whom were spectators cheering for the runners. As many as 176 were injured, some of whom will lose one or both legs.

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Thursday's memorial service was held to mourn the dead and support the wounded.

The service included Christian, Muslim and Jewish religious leaders. Prominent state and local leaders were present, including Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts and Obama's rival in last year's presidential election.

Matthew Cooper, in his National Journal story, described Obama's concluding remarks as:

"...a stunning moment as President Obama brought parishioners to their feet at a memorial service for those killed and wounded in the Boston Marathon bombing and vowed "we will run again."

Another speaker, current Massachusetts Governor Deval L. Patrick, set a positive tone when he said "we will have accountability without vengeance, vigilance without fear."

Governor Patrick also praised the city for its "resilience and its compassion."

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"In a dark hour," he said, "so many of you showed so many of us that darkness cannot drive out darkness, as Dr. [Martin Luther] King said; only light can do that."

New Yorker blogger Amy Davidson reported the inevitable dark side of some conservative media coverage:

"A twenty-year-old man who had been watching the Boston Marathon had his body torn into by the force of a bomb. He wasn't alone; a hundred and seventy-six people were injured and three were killed.

"This young man was the only one who, while in the hospital being treated for his wounds, had his apartment searched in 'a startling show of force,' as his fellow-tenants described it to the Boston Herald, with a 'phalanx' of officers and agents and two K9 units. 

"'Let me go to school, dude,' the roommate said later in the day, covering his face with his hands and almost crying, as a Fox News  producer followed him and asked him, again and again, if he was sure he hadn't been living with a killer.

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James Wall served as a Contributing Editor of The Christian Century magazine, based in Chicago, Illinois, from 1999 through 2017. From 1972 through 1999, he was editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine. Many sources have influenced (more...)
 

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