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. McBob79

    Nice try... Most embarrassing vp in memory.

    April 24, 2013 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  2. thelargeone

    This is an Obama Conspiracy! Lies Lies Lies

    April 24, 2013 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  3. Ross

    We're not talking about a "knockoff" Rolex here. Whether or not they are "knockoff jihadis" they are still capable of producing very authentic bombs and weapons of mass destruction. Will Joe ever learn to hasten his ridiculous rhetoric...rhetorically speaking, of course.

    April 24, 2013 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  4. JoshO

    Why does Biden talk. He makes us look bad. The ultimate idiot ticket: Bush/Biden.

    April 24, 2013 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  5. blaze562

    It isn't the Islamic or Muslims that are instilling fear into the American people anymore or as much. Most of it comes from our very own Government. They are the ones that are afraid, Afraid that someday their empire might crumble at the hands of the poor and middle class. I absolutely love to see rich people whine like a sow over millions that they themselves ripped off from the tax payer and they know it.

    April 24, 2013 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  6. tg

    Why is everyone so sure that they committed the murders?

    April 24, 2013 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  7. joe biden sucks

    Cowardly? i think for them to attack america it took guts , think about it like this what they done was terrible and wrong but they bombed citizens whats the difference of america using drones to bomb another country ? are we cowards?

    if another country goes to war with america and kills our troops thats not cowardly ?
    if someone is stupid enough to do something to brave as to stand up against this piece of S#it country then thats not cowardly what is cowadly is using people called Crisis Actors google that term and open your eyes america

    April 24, 2013 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  8. Jannicks

    Talking of cowardly, droning families from 20,000 feet fits the bill as well.

    Lots of cowards to go around. God knows the US is full of them

    April 24, 2013 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  9. Spaz

    OMG, Pot calling kettle black – regarding 'spineless'.

    April 24, 2013 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  10. rodaragon

    Joe, We all want to know 'Specifically' What you meant by...'New World Order' is needed....What is your vision of the 'New World Order' It was an obvious statement that was written by someone for YOU to say to the public. Not the President, Yet...Please explain...

    April 24, 2013 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  11. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    What other people in the whole world are dumb enough to think killing defenceless woman and children with bombs strapped to their bodies is going to get them to heaven, only the pork eaters of Allah ,cowards !!!!!

    April 24, 2013 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  12. pjxk

    For all those with negative comments about the Vice President, I would count myself lucky to have just half the personal moral integrity, personal courage, steadfastness that this man has displayed in his life. I admire him greatly as I am sure his US veteran sons would attest. He is a great American and a great person.

    April 24, 2013 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  13. gwats

    CNN now leads the World in over reporting, and whining like a little girl! Enough!

    April 24, 2013 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  14. dscon

    Joe "buy a shotgun"
    This is Liberal confusion......"This Is CNN"
    lol

    April 24, 2013 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  15. AmericaFan

    It is amazing how Mr. Biden could overcome such a tragedy in losing his wife and daughter, and end up becoming Vice President. Props

    April 24, 2013 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  16. Adam

    I applaud Joe Bidens words. He is my favourite among the Dems!

    April 24, 2013 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  17. overlord

    oh but you do fear america. your entire way of life betrays your words.

    April 24, 2013 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  18. rodaragon

    So a couple weeks ago there Joe, you said we needed to establish a 'New World Order' Very interesting Speech writer who threw that in. Can you please explain what exactly you mean by this?

    April 24, 2013 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  19. jowl

    Anyone who thinks the nominee in 2016 will be HIllary and not Joe Biden are nuts.

    April 24, 2013 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  20. Jennifer

    All you right-wing extremists . . . rather similar to the thinking of jihadists.

    April 24, 2013 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  21. Matthew

    He calls them "knock-off" then throws them in with international terrorist by including them with those "losing around the world". The idea that they had to be sponsored by an international group to be Jihadis is ludicrous. They were jihadis plane and simple. It doesn't matter that they were solo. Timothy McVeigh worked with three others, yet he was still a right wing terrorist. These two were/are jihadist/Islamic terrorist. People need to stop making it seem that being independent doesn't make them part of the larger war on terror.

    April 24, 2013 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  22. QDV

    As opposed to what? Brave, courageous, honest-to-badness jihadists?

    April 24, 2013 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  23. Seriously

    The commenters in here need to start behaving a little more respectful of each other and of others. Some of you aren't any better than the bombers. Just so you know. Your hate = their hate. That's what got us into this in the first place. Be nice. Work hard.

    April 24, 2013 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  24. rob0rah

    KNOCK OFF JIHADISTS???????? What the hell are genuine ones??? Give us all a break Biden!

    April 24, 2013 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  25. Marcus Takatoa

    The brothers were evil to the core, but they weren't cowardly or "knock-off jihaids". They did what they wanted to do at the moment they wanted to do it. Just like all the other radical Islamics, they felt like they had a permission slip to kill, mame, and terrorise anyone. That's pretty much A grade jihadis.

    April 24, 2013 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
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