With every act of violence the resilience of our democracy is being tested. With every loss of life caused by violence, the strength of our communities is being pushed to its limits. With every threat of the unknown, our judgment and commitment to the rule of law is pushed to the edge. Time and time again, we as a nation of immigrants must stand up for the very reasons we or our ancestors came to this country; we must pull together and heal; we must re-commit ourselves to the ageless pledge to remain "One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
From the moment the first blast was heard, many of the participants did not associate the sound with an act of terror. Following the second blast and the sight of the injured, almost all were convinced that this was a premeditated act of violence aimed to hurt our — global — civilians and to shake the confidence of the United States of America. Many, with zero evidence to support the claims, jumped to the conclusion that this was yet another attack by Muslim extremists. With the dawn of a new day, details are far and few in between. What we do know is that 3 people are dead, 18 are in critical condition, and 176 have been injured. There is an endless list of persons of interest, foreign and domestic, and one of them has been interviewed at the hospital but has not been charged.
We must take the time to mourn and to reflect, but the strength of our democracy lies in the irrefutable fact that it does not depend on one person alone. The resilience of our system lies with the people, and the terrorists will not and cannot deprive all of us of our lives and of our freedoms. Democracy will live on as long as there is one individual who stands up and dares to disagree and insists on fundamental and inalienable rights. We must remember that we do not stand alone. Men, women, and children in our cities and communities are our extended family. We are better together than when we are apart. All violence must be a call to come together and to be together as we must reassure one another of our humanity and goodness in the face of horror and terror. We must insist on the rule of law and seek out the guilty, bring them to justice, and make sure that the trial is open, transparent, and is in line with what we expect from ourselves.
We live in the greatest country in the world and we must strive to keep it so. We must not give an inch on our principles and on our practices. Stand in the face of adversity and proclaim that we are strong and united in the face of evil. We may be tested, but we will stand strong in the face of adversity.
In the darkest hours of the Second World War, Winston Churchill's "Never Give In" speech — his shortest address, at just 18 seconds — rang true then, it inspired and reassured us after 9/11, the tragedy of the 7/7 London attacks, and it must serve to inspire us once again today. We shall never give in on our values, our principles, and our way of life.