BOSTON, Mass. — President Barack Obama delivered a moving speech of remembrance and resilience in Boston on Thursday, honoring the victims of Monday's bombings at the Boston Marathon.
"We may be momentarily knocked off our feet," the president said, "But we will pick ourselves up. We will finish the race."
"Even when our heart aches, we summon the strength that we didn't even know we had and we finish the race," he said to thunderous applause at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston's South End.
He promised that the Boston Marathon would take place again next year, "This time next year, on the 3rd Monday in April, the world will return to this great American city...for the 118th Boston Marathon. To run harder than ever, to cheer louder. Bet on it."
He told the victims of the bombings, "We will be with you as you learn to stand and walk and, yes, run. I have no doubt, you will run again. You will run again."
Obama recalled his own time spent in Boston as a student, saying the city had welcomed him and Michelle Obama, like thousands of other students from near and far. "For millions of us, what happened on Monday is personal. It's personal."
He named and honored each of the people killed in the blasts. "Our hearts are broken for 8-year-old Martin with his big smile and bright eyes," he said.
Obama spoke to the perpetrators of the attack, saying, "Yes, we will find you. And yes, you will face justice. We will find you. We will hold you accountable."
Obama was preceded by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick who emphasized the importance of maintaining the state's civic faith, along with its spiritual faith. "We will have accountability without vengeance. Vigilance without fear."
Religious leaders from all across the city addressed the audience, from Nasser Wedaddy of the American Islamic Congress and Metropolitan Methodios of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston, to Rev. Liz Walker of the Roxbury Presbyterian Church and Cardinal Sean O'Malley.
O'Malley said, "We must overcome the culture of death by promoting a culture of life."
Wedaddy, an immigrant from Mauritania, read a line from the Koran, "Whoever kills a soul, it is as if he killed mankind. Whoever saves a soul, it is as if he saved all of mankind." He added, "I want to salute everyone who ran towards the victims."
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, who has been wheelchair bound due to an earlier injury, stood up while speaking to his city. "This is Boston, a city with courage, compassion and strength that knows no bounds."
Menino thanked the first responders and bystanders and doctors who helped in the aftermath, saying, "This was the courage of our city at work."
Hundreds gathered at and around the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston's South End long before the service, while uniformed police officers formed security lines around the church, said Reuters.
Meanwhile, a manhunt for a suspect spotted on video surveillance continues.
Watch Obama's speech: