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Posted: May 6, 2013 3:50 p.m.
Updated: May 8, 2013 5:00 a.m.

President Obama is in many ways a gifted speaker; he handles himself well in front of large crowds, and he seems always ready with a nifty and memorable line. At the interfaith worship service in Boston only days after the horrid bombing, the president brought those in attendance to their feet when he said, “If they sought to intimidate us, to terrorize us,” and then he paused for dramatic effect, almost in the rhythmic way some ministers do, before delivering the great line, “it should be pretty clear right now they picked the wrong city to do it.”

The Bostonians, of course, applauded enthusiastically, residents of a proud and historic city that was a leader in this country’s march to freedom. And there were more memorable moments in Beantown. A couple nights after the bombing, when a singer began The Star Spangled Banner at the Bruins’ hockey game, the crowd joined in energetically, almost buoyantly, joining the soloist in singing this country’s national anthem at a volume seldom heard. Soon thereafter, singing icon Neil Diamond showed up at the Red Sox game to sing “Sweet Caroline,” which is performed during the seventh inning stretch of every Fenway Park game, accompanied by raucous cheers from the crowd.

All these incidents spoke, of course, as proud testament to the spirit of Boston and this country. President Obama put it well, and he could have been referring to the entire United States as well as the city of Boston.


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