BOSTON (AP/MyFoxBoston.com) — President Barack Obama sought to inspire a stricken city and comfort an unnerved nation Thursday, declaring that Boston "will run again" and vowing to hunt down the perpetrator of the twin blasts that brought mayhem and death to the Boston Marathon.
"If they sought to intimidate us, to terrorize us ... It should be pretty clear right now that they picked the wrong city to do it," Obama said.
The president spoke at an interfaith service in Boston honoring the three people killed and more than 170 injured when a pair of bombs ripped through the crowd gathered Monday afternoon near the finish line of the famous race.
"We may be momentarily knocked off our feet," Obama said. "But we'll pick ourselves up. We'll keep going. We will finish the race."
"This time next year, on the third Monday in April, the world will return to this great American city to run harder than ever and cheer even louder for the 118th Boston Marathon," he declared.
Of the perpetrator, he said: "We will find you."
After speaking at the service, President Obama headed to Massachusetts General Hospital, where he is visiting patients, their families and hospital staff. We understand first lady Michelle Obama may also be visiting local hospitals, possibily Children's Hospital.
Among the other speakers at the service was an emotional Mayor Tom Menino who spoke of the resilience of Boston.
"It is a good morning, because we are together. We are one Boston. No adversity. No challenge. Nothing can tear down the resilience in the heart of the city and its people," said Menino.
Menino, who at previous appearances had been confined to a wheelchair because of a broken leg, displayed his own resilience by standing to deliver his remarks. He said never has he felt so much love surge through the city.
"Since the clock struck that fateful hour, love has covered this resilient city," said Menino. "I have never loved it and its people more than I do today. We have never loved it, and its people more than we do today."
"We love the brave ones who felt the blast and still raced to the smoke. With ringing in their ears, they tugged the gates to the ground to answer cries of those in need. This was the courage of our city at work," said Menino.
"Nothing can defeat the heart of the city. Nothing. Nothing will take us down because we take care of one another," said Menino. "Even with the smell of smoke in the air and blood in the streets and tears in our eyes, we triumphed over that hateful act Monday afternoon."
Menino left the stage to thunderous applause.
Cardinal Sean O'Malley said Monday's events show how selfless human beings can become in the face of a disaster.
"The generous and courageous response of so many assures us that there resides in people's hearts a goodness that is incredibly selfless," said O'Malley. "We saw that when summoned by great events, we can be remarkably committed to the well-being of others, even total strangers. We become a stronger people, a more courageous people, a more noble people."
Gov. Deval Patrick said the attacks were not only an attack on a civic ritual, that they were an attack on American values.
"We will recover and repair. We will grieve our losses and heal. We will rise and we will endure," said Patrick. "And we will remember...that the grace this tragedy exposed is the best of who we are."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.