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Speaker Boehner reacts to weekend tragedies in Boston, Texas

Today, House Speaker John Boehner, R-West Chester Twp., released the following statement:

“With the tragedies in Boston and West, Texas, that took the lives of a number of our fellow Americans, the week of April 14th was a difficult time for the country. My heart goes out to the victims. Thankfully, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that no runners or spectators from the Tri-State area were harmed in Boston.

“Meanwhile, in the nation’s capital, envelopes full of Ricin were sent to Congress and the president. The potentially deadly substance was detected and thwarted off-site. All of us who serve and work in the Capitol owe a special thanks to all the men and women who keep us safe.

“These are trying times, but we are grateful for the opportunity to live in a country whose people always look out for each other. Stories of the bravery and kindness of first responders, marathon runners, and residents of Boston – including a former New England Patriots lineman – remind us that Americans are at their best in times of tragedy.

“In West, Texas, CNN reported the story of Marty Marak, a volunteer firefighter who responded to the fertilizer plant explosion on the night of the 17th, despite losing his own home in the blast. Marty survived, but at least 11 of his fellow firefighters made the ultimate sacrifice.

“One those heroes lost was Kenny Harris, an off-duty Dallas firefighter, who rushed to the scene after learning of the fire, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. ‘Captain Harris’ response is typical of all our first responders; night and day, no matter where they are, no matter if they are on or off duty they respond with the greatest acts of bravery,’ said Dallas City Manager Mary Suhm.

“In Boston, the smoke had not yet cleared Boylston Street on April 15 when we began hearing of people doing extraordinary things. NBC Sports tweeted reports of marathon runners who continued on to Massachusetts General Hospital to donate blood to victims of the attack. Others who had already crossed the finish line turned around and ran back to the scene of the bombing to aid the injured.

“Many runners and spectators fund themselves stranded that afternoon, unable to get back to their hotels or connect with loved ones. The people of Boston took them in, offering food, showers, and a place to rest in safety.

“It may be days or weeks until we have more answers, but until then, we can find comfort in knowing that we are a strong nation, with brave and heroic citizens.

“Speaking at an interfaith prayer service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, President Obama addressed the injured: ‘As you begin this long journey of recovery… your country is with you. We will all be with you as you learn to stand and walk and, yes, run again.’

“The president is right – we all stand united with the people who’ve been affected by these tragedies. And together, we will carry on.”

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