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This morning all of us and our nation grieves for the people of Boston and we grieve for our nation, which suffered the the most awful act since 9-11.

We grieve for the eight year old boy from the working class neighborhood of Dorchester who ran out to hug his dad as the dad crossed the finish line, turned around to go back to the rest of his family and was killed by the blast.

We grieve for all the dead and for all those athletes who lost one or both legs. One doctor last night said he’d never seen so many amputations. We grieve for their families.

Our hearts break all over again for Newtown, CT and the families of the 26 killed by a deranged American who were represented by 26 runners in the Boston Marathon. We grieve for the recurring torture of violence there in Newtown and for the parents who’ve now lived through two horrific acts.

We grieve for the loss of a day of joy in Boston. We grieve for one of our greatest cities.

We grieve for the great recreational athletes whose pride and joy in finishing the marathon was turned to horror.

We don’t know who did this horrible thing in Boston. We don’t even know yet how many will die from their injuries.

One thing we do know is that revenge is not ours to enact. Justice is what we seek. Justice, not vengeance, is what we will seek and expect.

President Obama was right and I paraphrase – those who are responsible will know the full weight of justice.

As Danish Christian theologian Soren Kierkegaard said of his despair centuries ago I feel the “Sickness Unto Death” of violence against innocents, of violence that makes no sense of violence and death just for the sake of violence and death.

And I am reminded that the role of the labor movement and all our progressive organizations and institutions is to make life less mean and work more noble.

Give us love and justice and a recommitment to hope and our faith.

May God bless us all on this day of tragedy and grief.

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