April 24th, 2013
02:37 PM ET
1 year 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. marsh cohen

    everyone always has something to say against someone. Were u there? What have u done yourslef to help out?

    April 24, 2013 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  2. james

    With Dumbocrats like Obama and Biden And Clinton this country is screwed

    April 24, 2013 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  3. barclay donaldson

    I like what Joe Biden said and how he said it..

    April 24, 2013 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  4. David DeForge

    Spgfld Tom, I've been a law enforcement officer for 24 years and 99% of all the criminals I deal with are white US Citizens.

    Go figure.

    April 24, 2013 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  5. DaveNYUSA

    WHY WOULD they need to work to overthrow us?
    The current administration is doing all of the work for them.

    April 24, 2013 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  6. Green Oak

    This clown wants to run for President?

    April 24, 2013 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  7. curbcheck

    So the real-deal, hardcore jihadis are brave?

    Not sure I follow, Joe...

    April 24, 2013 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  8. Mandy

    Would it have been ok if they were real jihadists?

    April 24, 2013 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  9. Monomachos

    Joe, a national treasure and the Dems own GWB.

    April 24, 2013 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  10. Data Driven

    So Joe Biden receives more venom here than the murdering punks who committed this atrocity? I picture some of the posters on this site as old guys with pot-bellies, the hair on their shoulders poking around the straps of their tank undershirts, standing in their front stoops hoping for a stiff breeze.

    April 24, 2013 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  11. Frank Czine

    Good stuff, coming from a stupid, knock-off Vice-President.

    April 24, 2013 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  12. Loyalright

    American tax payers funded and supported these terrorist with welfare and food stamps. When will Americans demand a stop to welfare or at least revise a new plan?

    April 24, 2013 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  13. regularguy22

    Hasn‘t Obama learned that the comments of this buffoon hurt him rather than help him?

    April 24, 2013 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  14. thisisit

    biden and obama would know all about being a coward as tehy k1ll women and children with the drones

    April 24, 2013 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  15. Matthew

    Richard, guess what not all muslims are like that. Grow up and learn the facts. You are one of those people hating on Muslims when only some people do that and they will recieve punishment. They say for God but really God hates this.

    April 24, 2013 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  16. gusaustin

    he's trying to downplay them to make it seem like less of a big deal and reliefvepressure on the government to act. Kind of setting the stage for this to be treated as a common criminal act, prosecute them ,and forget about it.

    April 24, 2013 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    They killed innocent people, really... So is he daring the upcoming terrorist to do a better job? Embarrassing.

    April 24, 2013 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  18. McBob79

    Classic comment from our knock-off VP. What a joke!

    April 24, 2013 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  19. Lynn

    The man has a pea brain. I guess he would have rather had the real deal jihadis, you know the ones that fly airplanes into buildings.

    April 24, 2013 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  20. stan

    knock off Jihadi's as opposed to "professional jihadi's" the kind that really kill a lot of people. Since when are we rating jihadi's? Is this a jihadi performance review?

    April 24, 2013 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  21. Jim

    Right or left tell me what sense this comment makes at all. Seriously knock off jihadist?

    April 24, 2013 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  22. stan

    I give their jihadi a 3 out of 5 rating. The kill rate was small but the media use was definitely a 5. Their exit strategy was poor. That is a 2 or a 1. An excellent jihadi would have hit Biden's home. That would be a 5. This was just knock off jihadi-that is why its a 3. They need to improve their self evaluation metrics and get rid of excessive overlaps. Streamlined operations would get them 5. The "pressure cooker" thing was effective but it sounded like something out of grandma's kitchen. Low ratings for that.

    April 24, 2013 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  23. stan

    Is this like knock-off Armani's? They went to Thailand and got the knock-off jihadi?

    April 24, 2013 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  24. stan

    Serious side note (if CNN allows it). The folks in Afghanistan and Pakistan and where ever else there are terrorists are "kids" too. Kids with a recipe book. To state that these guys did anything less than their counterparts is to overstate their counterparts. Lots of bombings done by lots of amateurs that have just been radicalized. These guys are no different than their Arab cousins and it is vain imagination to think they are. Having said that, it is a pretty scary thought to think that a couple of rank amateurs could shut down Boston for 3 days. How does that happen?

    April 24, 2013 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  25. tuthtalk

    After hearing Biden announce that cowardly, knock-off jihadis can't break the American spirit, somewhere there's a terrorist laughing and thinking, "I'll show you a REAL jihadi." Taunting the enemy is a juvenile cheap shot.

    April 24, 2013 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
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