Obama: Americans Respond to Terror Selflessly, Compassionately, and Without Fear

President Obama

President Obama spoke to the American people Saturday in his weekly address about the act of terror at the Boston Marathon that wounded dozens and killed three innocent people on Monday. Instead of fear-mongering, the President focused on the great spirit shown by Americans, saying they refuse to be terrorized. He reminded us, “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.”

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“If anyone wants to know who we are; what America is; how we respond to evil and terror – that’s it. Selflessly. Compassionately. And unafraid.”

And that’s the way Boston and America will move forward together.

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President Obama:

On Monday, an act of terror wounded dozens and killed three innocent people at the Boston Marathon.

But in the days since, the world has witnessed one sure and steadfast truth: Americans refuse to be terrorized.

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 brave first responders – police officers, firefighters, EMTs, and National Guard – who ran toward danger to help their fellow citizens.

The race volunteers, spectators, and exhausted runners who rushed to help, including troops and veterans who never expected to see such scenes on the streets of America.

The determined doctors and nurses at some of the world’s best hospitals, who have toiled day and night to save so many lives.

The big-hearted people of Boston – residents, priests, shopkeepers – who carried victims in their arms; delivered water and blankets; lined up to give blood; opened their homes to total strangers.

And the heroic federal agents and police officers who worked together throughout the week, often at great risk to themselves, to keep our communities safe. 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.

If anyone wants to know who we are; what America is; how we respond to evil and terror – that’s it. Selflessly. Compassionately. And unafraid.

Through days that would test even the sturdiest of souls, Boston’s spirit remains undaunted. America’s spirit remains undimmed. Our faith in each other, our love for this country, our common creed that cuts across whatever superficial differences we may have – that’s what makes us strong. That’s why we endure.

In the days to come, we will remain vigilant as a nation. And I have no doubt the city of Boston and its surrounding communities will continue to respond in the same proud and heroic way that they have thus far – and their fellow Americans will be right there with them every step of the way. May God bless the people of Boston and the United States of America.

End transcript.

Last night, I wrote that this was an opportunity for us to get it right this time, and to show who we are, to stand up for the principles of this great nation. Then President Obama rejected the right’s calls to renew the “war on terror”, by announcing that the suspect would be tried in civilian court.

Today, this President has once again steered us in the right direction, focusing on our resolve and our unity, our great capacity for generosity and selflessness, and most importantly, our refusal to be terrorized.

President Obama did not fear-monger or try to use the tragedy of Boston in order to justify cutting corners on the very laws that uphold liberty. He’s shown in action that he won’t stand for terrorism; it was under his watch that we finally got Osama bin Laden.

Instead, he reminded us of our best selves, of our acts of heroism both private and public, and most importantly, of who we will be in reaction to these events. We will not give in to fear. We will stand united in our resolve.

This is the leadership we so desperately needed after 9/11. While we can’t go back in time and erase the atrocities or force Congress to finally fund the closure of Gitmo, we can be grateful that we are going to get it right this time. Relying on our system to its job is an act of patriotism; to do otherwise suggests that we have no faith in democracy.

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