"You will run again," President Barack Obama told an interfaith service on Thursday for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, in a stirring speech aimed at bringing solace to the city and settling the nerves of a rattled nation.
At a Boston cathedral about a mile from the spot where two bombs on Monday ripped through the crowds at the marathon finish line, killing three people and injuring 176, Obama sought to convey strength by vowing "we will find you" to the person or people behind the attack.
Monday's bombing began a week of security scares that rattled the United States and evoked memories of the September 11, 2001 hijacked plane attacks, ranging from false bomb reports to mail sent to the White House and other federal officials containing the deadly poison ricin.
Investigators in the Texas town of West were looking into the cause of an explosion on Wednesday night at a fertilizer plant that killed up to 15 people and destroyed dozens of homes.
Some of the victims of the Boston attack suffered gruesome injuries, and at least 10 lost limbs as a result of the blasts. Investigators believe the bombs were made of pressure cookers packed with shrapnel.
"As you begin this long journey of recovery, your city is with you, your commonwealth is with you, your country is with you," Obama said. "We will all be with you as you learn to stand and walk and, yes, run again. Of that, I have no doubt. You will run again."
Hundreds of people crowded outside the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston's South End. Police were out in force, and some officers listened to Obama's speech over the radio while standing next to their squad cars.
Among them was Philip Beauregard of Boston, who said, "The president was fantastic. He made it clear that the country is behind the city of Boston."
After his speech, Obama met with volunteers and Boston Marathon organizers, many of whom cared for the injured, and with victims at Massachusetts General Hospital.
© 2013 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.