(BOSTON) — On the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings that killed three people and injured more than 200 others, Vice President Joe Biden paid tribute Tuesday to the bravery and courage of survivors and first responders.
“In my career I’ve been part of or witnessed some incredible tributes, but I have to say…I’ve never, never, never witnessed a tribute like I’ve heard today,” he said. “You are truly, truly inspiring, I’ve never heard anything so beautiful as what all of you just said.”
“I know that no memorial, no words, no acts can fully provide the solace that your hearts and soul still yearn to acquire. But I hope it eases your grief a little bit,” he added.
Biden’s speech followed the stories and testimonies of several survivors of the attacks and people who responded to the injured, as well as musical numbers like Wicked’s “For Good” and Hercules’ “Go the Distance.”
“I want you to know you’re an inspiration, without knowing it, to people all across this country who suffered tragedies and are going through tragedy,” Biden said. “The fact that you’re here, I promise you, gives them hope that maybe, maybe they can overcome what they’re going through right now.”
“Even though I’m not a Boston fan, I love you guys, man,” he said. “And I know politicians aren’t supposed to say that, that you’re not a Red Sox fan. But where I come from, when I was in it, if you root for the Red Sox, you got the living hell kicked out of you. So there was a good reason not to be a Red Sox fan.”
Biden also heralded the courage of the first responders and victims, stating that Boston sent a message to the world about the bravery of the American people.
“You are Boston strong, but America is strong. They’re not unlike you all around America,” he said. “That’s what makes us so proud of this city and this state. That we have never, ever, ever yielded to fear. Ever.”
Biden said that despite the goals of the bombers to terrify the city and the country, the Americans involved in that week’s events showed that Americans never back down.
“They try to instill fear. That’s their objective, that’s what they tried to do in Boston. To make us afraid. Not just Boston afraid — to make America afraid, so that maybe, maybe we begin to change our ways,” he said. “America will never, eve,r ever stand down. We are Boston. We are America. We respond. We endure. We overcome. And we own the finish line.”
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