Obama Speaks at Boston Memorial Service

President Obama is speaking at the memorial service for the victims of the Boston Marathon attacks. You can watch live (here.

We will find you and you will face justice... We will hold you accountable.

...."A bomb can't beat us....we carry on."

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    I turned it off (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by shoephone on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 02:47:16 PM EST
    It was an inappropriate politicizing of a somber event. More jingoism. And I'm not really interested in watching or hearing the memorial even without the politics. Media exploitation of tragedy for ratings.

    BTW, there's a spammer hitting old threads--
    "srdr21" or something like that.

    Why is this a national tragedy? (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by Anne on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 03:39:27 PM EST
    Because it happened at an iconic event, the Boston Marathon?

    Why must we grieve as a nation for these deaths, and not all the other deaths that happen every day?  Why must we have to hear - again - about our strong spirit, our ability to endure, our coming together as a national family?

    My heart breaks for the families and friends of those whose lives ended that day.  There's a local preschool teacher who lost her leg below the knee as a result of her injuries, and I feel for her and those in her life.

    But these deaths and these injuries are no more special than the thousands that happen every day, are they?  And those thousands of other deaths are no less meaningful than those that happened on Monday.  Why is even death some kind of macabre popularity contest?  Losing a loved one to cancer is so ordinary; losing a loved one to a random bombing is, what?  Worse?  Worse for whom?

    Why must we make a spectacle out of it?  Why must we have to see all the major network anchors on site and all doing their best to wring every last, sad drop of emotion out of the families, the friends and passers-by?  Here are people trying so hard to hold it together, and there's a news anchor doing his or her best to ask that one question that will make them cry, so all the world can what?  Cry, too?

    As for The Mourner in Chief...if he feels he must reach out, let him have the families to the WH for an unannounced and private - no cameras before, during or after - lunch, let him express his sympathy, and leave the rest of us out of it.  

    Honestly, if I hear one more person heap praise on how we can "come together as a nation" I may have to throw something; I find nothing to be congratulated in our being  voyeurs to other people's grief.

    Oooh, oooh, I have the answer! (5.00 / 4) (#27)
    by Towanda on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 06:48:12 PM EST
    Obama coming to town makes it a national tragedy.

    I know this because he never came to my town, within recent months, for two mass shootings, both hate crimes, and both with more dead than in the Boston bombing: one of several wimmen and one of turban-wearing former furriners mowed down in their temple of worship.

    Every time he turns up at one of the other sites of mass shootings, I am reminded (and I am not alone, as this turns up in local blogs and conversations, too) that the only tragedies are in movie theaters or malls or sports events or nice suburban schools.  And there is another common denominator. . . .

    Of course, we're also still talking here about his inability to find his comfy footwear to keep promises to be here for the working class, as well.


    Because the Media Says So... (none / 0) (#8)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 03:53:45 PM EST
    ...what is oddly interesting is what will be more of a tragedy, Boston or West, TX.  One was purposeful and the other seems like an accident, one far worse in terms of human carnage, but doesn't play near as well in the press.

    Boston will prevail IMO, especially if this turns out to be a corporate accident waiting to happen because of ineffectual regulation, which is my guess.


    Or because (none / 0) (#11)
    by jbindc on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 04:03:26 PM EST
    Boston is a "good" city in a blue state, where lots of members of the media have lived, and West, is a rural community in Texas, which is almost like a foreign country to many in the media.

    Seriously? (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by DebFrmHell on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 03:53:58 PM EST
    Why is this a national tragedy?

    Because it happened at an iconic event, the Boston Marathon?

    Any act of terrorism directed at a group of anonymous peoples constitutes a national tragedy to me.

    Why wasn't Newtown (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by Anne on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 04:01:18 PM EST
    characterized as an act of terrorism?

    The loss of life and the devastating injuries that occurred Monday are indeed tragic - but it's not a "national" tragedy.

    It was a random act of violence - but it has yet to be established if there are national implications.


    Was Newtown a "national tragedy"? (none / 0) (#12)
    by jbindc on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 04:04:24 PM EST
    The media sure treated it like one; (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by Anne on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 04:14:34 PM EST
    does that make it one?  

    It was random, it was senseless, it was heart-breaking for the families and the friends; it was tragic for them - does our getting a front row seat to the aftermath elevate it to a national tragedy?

    Does my being able to write that exact same paragraph about Boston make any difference in how the events should be viewed?

    I think that's up to you to determine for yourself.


    I dunno (none / 0) (#14)
    by jbindc on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 04:23:29 PM EST
    Was 9/11 a national tragedy?

    I mean, most people don't live in NY or DC (or PA), and most people don't know people that live there. It was sad and horrifying, yes, but it didn't affect most people in the country.

    What makes a national tragedy?


    I believe you were (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by sj on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 04:46:38 PM EST
    being facetious, but you ask good questions.  In retrospect, what makes it a national tragedy may have been that it paved the way for the Patriot Act.

    I would add, though, that many more people than the residents of NY or DC (or PA) were affected when flights were grounded for days afterward.  Although that's hardly in the same category as personal loss, it is still an affect.


    Well (none / 0) (#21)
    by jbindc on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 05:08:43 PM EST
    Out of Newtown, Aurora, Columbine etc. we got national conversations about gun laws.  All the things you mentioned had national implications, in one way or another.

    Why Boston?  Because when you have almost 200 people killed or injured, I think that is significant, especially as once again we realize that it could happen anywhere. Newtown, on the other hand had 26 killed.

    Unfortunately, someone getting shot overnight in Chicago doesn't register because it is far more commonplace.Why not more about the discussions about the budget?  Cynically, because while that DOES affect everyone, it's not sexy.  Also, because when you listen to the president or members of Congress speak, all it contains are talking points and doublespeak.  No one believes them, because they lie to protect their own hide, so why listen to them?


    A national conversation is fine (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by sj on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 05:23:33 PM EST
    Good, even.  

    And all of those are tragedies for sure.  But, speaking only from my experience, I believe these are personal tragedies, not national ones. And anyone with an ounce of compassion will be moved to sorrow, but all loss is personal.

    I still think Anne is asking a valid question.


    9/11 was an attack against the (5.00 / 4) (#18)
    by Anne on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 04:57:01 PM EST
    United States, was it not?  Were the shootings at Sandy Hook, Columbine, Virginia Tech, Aurora attacks against the US?  Or acts of mentally disturbed individuals?

    What was Boston?  Three days later, we don't really know, do we?  No one's claimed responsibility, there's been no "chatter" that indicates we need to be on Code Neon Red, so if it turns out to be the work of some mentally disturbed individual, it will still be a tragedy, but it won't be a national tragedy.

    Maybe the real tragedy is the unconscionably poor reporting, and the please-please-can-we-call-it-terrorism attitude of too many in the media.  Anyone who ever believes a word out of Fran Townsend's mouth should be banished - with her - to someplace with no media access whatsoever.


    Actually it's an International Tragedy (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by CoralGables on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 05:06:23 PM EST
    The Boston Marathon is one of the 6 World Marathon Majors run each year. Not only were all 50 states and the District of Columbia represented with entrants in the race, there were citizens from 96 different nations running in the Boston Marathon this year.

    agree w/CoralGables - yes it's a big tragedy (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by noholib on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 10:29:44 PM EST
    I haven't been on this site in quite some time. Most of what I read here today strikes me as heartless, cynical, argumentative, and lacking in compassion.  CoralGables excepted, and perhaps one or two other comments.  

    Having experienced (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by sj on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 10:35:52 PM EST
    a family tragedy, and again only speaking for myself, I wouldn't want my loss turned into a political event.  To me that is lacking in compassion.

    The tragedy is not the individual event, but that (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 10:40:54 PM EST
    we live in a world littered with such events, and where people are mean enough or mad enough to effect them.

    I (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by lentinel on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 06:15:03 PM EST
    have seen the video - but I haven't been able to find out why the FBI thinks that these are suspects. Is there video of them planting their backpacks? I read that they dropped their backpacks "moments before the explosion". If they were the bombers, wouldn't you think that they would want to put some distance between themselves and an imminent explosion?

    I'm just asking, not challenging anything.

    I simply can't find the information.

    Spokesman said the man in the white cap (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by shoephone on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 06:20:24 PM EST
    dropped his backpack in front of a restaurant near the finish line a few minutes before the bomb went off. Authorities must have lots of video and other info they are not releasing to the public, including video of the drop. These photos may be the best shots of the suspects faces, so they would want the public to view them in case anyone recognizes either one of the men.

    I'm waiting for an open thread (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by shoephone on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 06:21:37 PM EST
    so I can give you my impressions of the Wes recordings... ;-)

    I have mixed feelings (none / 0) (#1)
    by sj on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 01:50:09 PM EST
    about bringing in the law 'n' order rhetoric at a memorial. It is a great honor to have the President of the United States attend.  And with that, it can't help but be politicized in some way or another.  

    But grief is a very personal, very consuming thing.  I don't know.  Speaking only for myself, I wouldn't appreciate having to take my awareness from the person I love and have lost.  And yet...

    I don't know.  I just don't know.

    Plus, it's Pretty Damn Presumptuous... (none / 0) (#3)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 02:50:37 PM EST
    ...to make that claim.  

    Something about cops and politicians claiming they will find the guilty party and bring them to justice has always rubbed me wrong.  Seems like that kind of bluster is one of the root causes of innocent people going to jail, someone will be found and held accountable.


    If you were a grieving family member (none / 0) (#4)
    by jbindc on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 02:56:36 PM EST
    Would you prefer to hear, "Oh, we will try to catch the bad guy, but I really just don't want to upset anyone?" or would you rather hear, "We will leave no stone unturned to find out who did this and bring them to justice?"

    My guess is that most people would prefer the latter.


    I'd Rather Hear... (none / 0) (#5)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 03:22:02 PM EST
    ..."wake up, it was a all a dream, there wasn't a bombing", and I am positive that is what most people would love to hear..

    What if they don't catch them, what if Obama promises tougher gun legislation and doesn't deliver, "but he said...."

    What people want to hear is not always what is best and in the long run, he could really impact some of the people in deep grieve if the person is never brought to justice.


    Well, that's true (none / 0) (#6)
    by jbindc on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 03:36:40 PM EST
    And I completely agree that they would all like to wake up from this horrible nightmare.

    But we found Osama bin Laden, long after George Bush promised we would.  I think promising to find perpetrators of crime, while not advised (since nothing is guaranteed), is a whole other ball of wax from political chest beating about delivering legislation that had little chance in the first place.


    neither (none / 0) (#15)
    by sj on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 04:41:09 PM EST
    I'd rather hear from someone else who loved them.  But again, that's just me.

    Photos and video (none / 0) (#16)
    by CoralGables on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 04:45:06 PM EST
    Confusing (none / 0) (#28)
    by MO Blue on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 08:04:59 PM EST
    The man dressed in black has his hat pulled down hiding his face and has on sun glasses. The man with the white hat has his face exposed. IOW hat off of face and no glasses.

    I would have thought that a bomber would have  made some effort to hide his appearance.

    Probably not germane one way or the other, but confusing to me nonetheless.  


    A Boston tv station ran a lot of photos (none / 0) (#29)
    by Towanda on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 08:38:34 PM EST
    yesterday or the day before, photos submitted by viewers, and these two now fingered by the FBI were the ones most often indicated by the photographers and others as suspect because they had the backpacks in early photos but not in later photos, because they were photographed at or near the bomb sites, and other behaviors.

    In some of the photos, these two were wearing the baseball caps but not in other photos.  One wore glasses in some photos but not others.  And as I recall, one had his jacket off in some photos.

    It may be that the FBI has not released all of the photos?