Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I first want to thank my colleague, Niki Tsongas, for organizing today's Special Order, and I thank her for the time.
It is with immense gratitude that I rise to honor Massachusetts' first responders today. While I'm always proud to call myself a resident of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, being from Massachusetts has carried a very special significance these past 12 days.
The tragic bombings that occurred on April 15 took three precious, innocent lives and caused hundreds of others to suffer devastating wounds. A former intern of mine, Patrick Downes, and his wife, Jess, were wounded. I want them to know that we are continuing to pray for them and for all the others who are wounded.
We also remember Officer Sean Collier, an MIT police
officer who was shot and killed. Our prayers are with his family.
So many lives were upended by this tragic, senseless act of violence. Citizens of the Commonwealth and Americans across the country are still coping with the horror of the bombings that took place on what is normally a celebratory day in Massachusetts--Patriot's Day. Amidst these acts of violence and terror, our belief in the fundamental goodness of people is strengthened when we reflect on the courageous acts of so many in the wake of such a tragedy.
I want to recognize the incredible sacrifices of Massachusetts' first responders and the sacrifices that they made from the moment the bombs went off until the time the final suspect was apprehended.
Even as we speak, victims are still being treated by medical professionals at some of the world's finest hospitals, like Massachusetts General, Beth Israel Deaconess, Boston Medical Center, Brigham and Women's, and Boston's Children's Hospital, among others.
Police, firefighters, medical professionals, members of the National Guard, even ordinary citizens rushed to the scene of the bombing last week in order to help the wounded, potentially putting themselves in harm's way. Sleep was the last thing on the minds of many of these selfless men and women who worked back-to-back shifts in support of the communities they call home.
The extraordinary response of the Boston medical community is very much a part of the story of the 2013 Boston Marathon. The explosions took place at 2:50 p.m. Emergency medical teams mobilized immediately, and 35 minutes later--after the injured were swiftly and efficiently stabilized, transported and triaged at hospitals throughout the city--the first patient was wheeled into an operating room. Nurses, doctors, all medical personnel simply showed up to help.
I want to recognize the incredible leadership of President Obama, of Governor Deval Patrick, and of Boston Mayor Tom Menino. They offered words of comfort, they reassured us, and they helped us get through this terrible ordeal. I was particularly moved to see Mayor Menino, who was recovering from a broken leg, stand tall and lead his great city.
I also want to recognize Richard DesLauriers, the special agent in charge of the Boston FBI and an Assumption College graduate, for his outstanding work which led to the apprehension of the final suspect. They have all made our State very proud.
At the interfaith service last week, we showed the world that Boston and Massachusetts will not be deterred. We are a resilient community, and we will emerge from this stronger than ever. In a week where we saw the very best and worst of human behavior on display, I am proud to say that Massachusetts' best, our first responders, triumphed.
While we continue to reflect on the tragedies of last week, we move forward with a renewed sense of pride, knowing that their exceptional commitment to public service is what makes us all Boston Strong.