April 24th, 2013
02:37 PM ET
12 months ago

Biden says 'knock-off jihadis' can't break American spirit

(CNN) – The brothers accused of planting bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, and later murdering a police officer in Cambridge, are "twisted, perverted, cowardly knock-off jihadis" who failed to instill fear in the American people, Vice President Joe Biden said at a memorial service for the slain officer Wednesday.

"It infuriates them that we refuse to bend, refuse to change, refuse to yield to fear," Biden said at the afternoon event honoring of Sean Collier. "The doctrine of hate and oppression, they've found out cannot compete with the values of openness and inclusiveness. And that's why they're losing around the world."

The service for Collier, a campus police officer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, came more than a week after the two blasts killed three people and wounded hundreds. The accused perpetrators shot Collier to death in his cruiser Thursday night as he was responding to a loud disturbance call, setting off a series of events that left one of the suspected bombers dead and the other the subject of a day-long manhunt.

MORE: Officials weight in, then retreat, on Boston bombing attacks

Collier was remembered by friends and colleagues as an integral member of MIT's community, whose dedication to his job cost him his life. The university's alumni association made him an honorary member Wednesday.

"People have asked me if Sean were here, what would he think," his brother, Rob Rogers, said at the service. "Are you kidding me? He would have loved this. Sirens, flashing lights, formations, people saluting, bagpipes, Taps, the American flag – he would have loved it. He was born to be a police officer, and he lived out his dreams."

MORE: Slain MIT cop: 'He was born to be a police officer'

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, said Collier's "life was infused with this spirit of service – that protection, that strength, could come only from giving himself fully."

And Biden called the slain officer a "remarkable son and brother."

"No child should predecease their parents," Biden said, acknowledging that while "every loss is different," he could speak with experience on the particular pain of losing a child. His daughter and first wife were killed in a car accident in 1972.

MORE: Biden vows justice for Boston attack

"The moment will come when that thing that triggers the memory of Sean, that moment, whether it's a song or a season or a holiday or passing a little league field, whatever it is, you'll know it's going to be okay when the first instinct is you get a smile to your lips before you get a tear to your eye," Biden said. "It's impossible to fathom that that will occur, but I promise you, I guarantee you, it will."

The vice president also offered counsel to the larger campus community, still reeling from the blasts, shooting, and manhunt that swept their neighborhood last week.

"Just look around this field at the student body here," Biden said. "Just listen to the accents of the president and vice president. This is a diverse campus. Probably the greatest technological university in the world. It's black, it's white, it's Muslim, it's Christian, it's Jewish, it's Hindu."

"You make no distinction between the competence of male and female. You are their worst nightmare. All the things these perverted jihadis, self-made or organized, all the things they fear," he continued.

MORE: Friend 'brainwashed' bombing suspect, uncle says

Later in the day, Biden's wife Jill, dressed in black, visited a memorial site on Boylston Street, near the blast site in Boston. She hung a pair of black running shoes, signed "Boston Strong. Love, Jill Biden," on a police fence covered with other running shoes, flowers and big posters memorializing the victims of last Monday's attack.

CNN's Rose Arce contributed to this report.


Filed under: Boston Marathon bombing • Joe Biden
soundoff (293 Responses)
  1. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Soooo, turns out they were in fact "dabblers", "wannabes" and "cast-offs" looking to see how much malfesance they could create and get away with. Just like I said. They were even worse because the radicalists in their native land were the first ones to say "They're NOT with us".
    Pitiful.
    I am still of the mind that we could've done away with all the due process stuff and accidentally on purpose dispatched the second brother to join the first. Very discouraging message to future "amateurs".
    Come on, they've done it to innocent people. Act like you know.

    April 24, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  2. BrianMemphis

    @Dominican mama 4 Obama–Watch out, you're sounding like a Republican. Usually the looney left is all about compassion and understanding (just look at the CNN headlines the last few days-the Islam apologists are out in force). You're out of your comfort zone here.

    April 24, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  3. California

    When Biden speaks nobody (that matters) listens.

    April 24, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  4. Rick McDaniel

    Biden is such a buffoon, no one listens to a thing he says.

    April 24, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  5. Wake up People!

    Anyone that thinks CNN is a liberal site apparently has not been reading here lately.

    I love Joe. Knock off terrorists. This guy should receive the same punishment that he gave little Martin and the others.

    I'm also sick of hearing how the older one brainwashed the younger one and his age should be considered. No it shouldn't. No more than age should be considered when sentencing those two little monsters that shot that baby in the face. Murder is murder. Also the younger brother was an adult NOT a MINOR.

    April 24, 2013 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  6. rs

    Biden is correct- about Americans. Apparently Republicans however, are reaching for their Depends based on their cowardace regarding their Immigration bill, their desire to scuttle the Constitution, the Courts and citizenship in general.

    These folks are seriously spineless.

    April 24, 2013 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  7. Lynda/Minnesota

    are "twisted, perverted, cowardly knock-off jihadis" who failed to instill fear in the American people, Vice President Joe Biden said at a memorial service for the slain officer Wednesday.
    --------------

    Oh, I agree. Unfortunately, our media would rather we DID live in fear.

    Fear sells. Big time.

    So does propaganda.

    April 24, 2013 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  8. rs1201

    what's a knock off jihadi?

    April 24, 2013 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    "When Biden speaks nobody (that matters) listens."

    GFY

    April 24, 2013 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  10. California

    Sniffit – WOW such anger from a self proclaimed perfect person.

    Ever hear of taking your own advice?

    Have a nice day :)

    April 24, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  11. Kevin Lawton

    "Biden says 'knock-off jihadis' can't break American spirit" Is that like knock off presidents?

    April 24, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  12. dddwwww

    Biden comments to the family were the best I have seen Biden make and were really good. He undrstan their lass and articulated it.

    April 24, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  13. sly

    "Probably the greatest technological university in the world. It's black, it's white, it's Muslim, it's Christian, it's Jewish, it's Hindu."
    --
    Thank you Mr. Vice President – very well put. I am proud to be an American with President Obama and Biden articulating the values of freedom and diversity.

    America is entering a time of great properity. President Obama has ended the middle east Bush wars, brought home the boys from Afghanistan, killed our 2 greatest enemies, and now our stock market is heading towards 16,000, while the jobless rate heads toward 6%.

    Yes, we still need to reduce the 3000 gun murders each year, and allow freedom for all, including gay people.

    Cherish these times. We've kept America safe from all major attacks for 12 years – we should be proud.

    April 24, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  14. Guy Smiley

    The only reason Barry keeps this tool around is that it makes the community organizer look half smart.

    April 24, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  15. Mike

    "Knock of Jihadis" who better the Bozo would know he comes from a knock off administration!! Oboingo and Bozo a couple of clowns!!!

    April 24, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  16. PJ

    "I am still of the mind that we could've done away with all the due process stuff.........."
    --
    True. They are STILL messing with Major Hasan, who killed all of those Ft Hood soldiers and civilians, on
    Nov 5, 2009 – 3-1/2 years for goodness sake.
    Send in the drones!!!!!!!!!!

    April 24, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  17. biden-time...

    If Biden talks in public, does it make a noise?

    April 24, 2013 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    ""When Biden speaks nobody (that matters) listens.""

    Screw this, I'm gonna be a little clearer than vaguely alluding to what you can go do with your favorite broom hande: YOU DISGUST US. Biden was at a memorial service for a brutally murdered police officer and public servant...a young man not much older than the college students whose safety it was his job to ensure...a job he was doing when taken from his family. Biden eloquently spoke to the pain, the emptiness and the bottled rage felt by those mourning Sean Collier's loss and that bothers you because you're empty inside. That you lack the basic humanity to put your partisan BS aside and keep your disrespectful little yap shut if you can't find something nice to say in this context says more about whether you and and those like you "matter" than anything else.

    April 24, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  19. MesaMax

    The Benghazi Consulate Massacre, the Fort Hood Massacre, the Boston Bombing Massacre. The atrocities are adding up under Obama's term.

    April 24, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  20. bozobiden

    Obama Admin worst in history bar none. Four more years of worthlessness at the helm...

    April 24, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  21. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Just about everything Vice President Biden said in describing these two terrorists can be attributed to the right wing extremists in this country. Just look at the way they've behaved in the past four plus years, dividing the country with their blatant and outrageous bigotry and racism, the name calling, the fear mongering tactics, the attacks on minorities, on women, on the elderly, on gays and lesbians. Calling for electric fence and concentration camps and burning people's books of worship, calling for the assassination of our President, secession and civil war and disenfranchising and intimidating voters and on and on and on.

    Yes, I'm mad as hell over what these terrorists did to our citizens in Boston but what message do we send to would-be terrorists abroad and at home if as Americans we don't show love, respect and compassion for our fellow men? Where is the united we stand, divided we fall principle? And why is it that we only talk about unity in the face of national tragedy? Why not every day? And where's the "one nation under God" principle? While families are still grieving the ones they lost in Tucson, Aurora, Oak Creek, Sandy Hook and elsewhere, the NRA and the GOPT/D gun lobbyists in Washington struck down the gun legislation for background checks in the face of the grieving, proclaiming they won. Let's face it, if we're going to forge ahead and endure as a nation, we need to check our principles, our integrity structure and our character as Americans FIRST!

    April 24, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  22. It's Me

    What a clown Biden is. A jihadist is a jihadist doesn't matter where you are from.

    April 24, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  23. Bob

    Good old Joe Biden....stating the obvious...what a genius.

    FYI Joe.....you represent a knock-off president and a country that has never been weaker.

    April 24, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  24. Romney is Still NOT My Hero

    @sly
    -----------------–
    I agree with you whole-heartedly. I think these are the beginning of great times for this county. It's shameful that some people just do not like positive changes. It's refreshing to find someone who can see the light.

    April 24, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  25. Cleaver

    Joe all the terrorist act alone. There's no Al Qaeda. Hezbollah is a figment of your imagination. Hamas? they run candy stores on the delta. It's all just coincidence. Like Arab Spring all over. I can smell the roses now.

    April 24, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
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