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. ryan

    So we'd somehow give the terrorists a bit of respect if they real jihadists?

    April 24, 2013 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  2. Jim Zammod

    Well said Joe, he (unlike the media) actually portraits this guy as the losers they are, and that didn't they did nothing but shame his family and region. good job guys!!! h8 gets u no where but hell!

    April 24, 2013 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  3. AM

    He should not be using that kind of useless speeches and better yet work harder to unite the country and to prevent further attacks. His words are just challenging the whole terrorist groups to keep doing what they have been doing.

    April 24, 2013 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  4. Leeza

    I am ESPECIALLY loving the posts where you are giving terrorists ideas on how and WHERE to attack us, i.e., the suburbs. Thanks guys.

    April 24, 2013 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  5. Pennyann

    It is wrong and call them "knock-off Jihadis" because they are Jihadis nonetheless, just ask the 200 people they injured and 3 they killed. They are Jihadis of the worst form, to make it seem as if they aren't "real" Jihadis is ridiculous and an insult to those injured..

    April 24, 2013 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  6. Leeza

    Do you think that this blog is not being watched and monitored by the very people that attack our country?? Idiots.

    April 24, 2013 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  7. tullymd

    Call them all the names that shows our disdain...evil despicable vermin and anything else, it's all true. But I don't get the coward part.

    April 24, 2013 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  8. Jim

    what does "knock off jihad" mean? if someone is motivated by islam, is there a distinction between someone officially following alqeda and someone simply following islam on their own?

    April 24, 2013 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  9. woof

    He's spot on.......................................A statement worthy of candidate for president. Yet, I will vote for Hillary.

    April 24, 2013 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  10. Two Stray Dogs

    No, they can't break our spirit... but they can, obviously, blow our arms and legs off, kill us and terrorize an entire area. Just two of them. And total amateurs at that. I've pretty much had it with these "people."

    April 24, 2013 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  11. woof

    He's spot on.........................but I'm still voting for Hillary.

    April 24, 2013 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  12. Joe

    Biden has the lowest IQ of any VP Ever!

    April 24, 2013 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  13. Dan

    We're more afraid of our government and it's policy's than the "twisted, perverted, cowardly knock-off jihadis" at this point in time.

    April 24, 2013 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  14. Calvin

    Joe Biden opens his remarks by telling a stupid joke. Did he forget this was a memorial service, or did he think he was doing the opening monologue for Leno?

    April 24, 2013 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  15. bruno altimino

    Islam is a bad religion and it continues to produce bad fruit. If a tree produces infected fruit, the remedy is not to repeatedly pick off the bad fruit. The remedy is to kill the tree.

    April 24, 2013 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  16. Daremonai

    The only difference between a coward and a hero is which side they are on.

    April 24, 2013 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  17. V.P. Naive

    Why?
    Why?
    Why?
    Do we have a naive V.P.?
    Or is he just in denial?

    April 24, 2013 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  18. TheTruthMan

    pardon me mr. vice pres – the bombers DID install fear in the american people. they scared us to death. they brought the city of Boston to its knees. because of them we literally shut the city down. So what are you taking about? Propaganda aside (and there were lots of it), put some truth in your political speeches.

    April 24, 2013 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  19. Carol

    What happened to the American way of sticking together? Reading these posts if people thought the same way in the 40's there would have been no way we would have instantly readied with war production, men enlisting, men going to war drafted, fighting, and had it over with Europe fighting, too, in four yrs. What happned to the true American Spirit of sticking together?

    April 24, 2013 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  20. Bobber

    "Failed to instill fear" ?!?!? - is that a dare line? Sounds like Bush's "bring it on"
    Who writes the lines for these guys? They should be part of the cut backs. Really.

    April 24, 2013 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  21. Joe

    I agree with Mr. Biden, we are one nation. A nation full of great honorable men and women who are willing to lay their life on the line for our American counterparts regardless of who they are, who they worship, or where their ancestry comes from. My heart goes out to the family of this officer. I do not know him, but there is one thing soldiers and cops have in common, the ability to follow orders, and the ability to do the right thing even when no one els looking. I hope you find your solace Police Officer's Family, and even though I do not know the Police Officer, I truly hope he rests in peace and he is in a better place now. I mean that from the bottom of my heart! OOOOOORAH!!!

    April 24, 2013 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  22. jim

    But... but... it wasn't jihad that motivated them. It was the policies of George Boooosh!

    April 24, 2013 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  23. BC

    "twisted, perverted, cowardly knock-off jihadis" who failed to instill fear in the American people, Vice President Joe Biden

    Yeah, America expects the very best jihadis, and will accept no imitations...

    April 24, 2013 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  24. J_lebowski

    Biden is an insult to humanity

    April 24, 2013 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  25. Kumar

    Jihadis have to be not hanged instantly, they have to be tortured to death till the life time, so that other terroristss know that it is not a one hang if they get caught...they have to suffer through out the life...

    I say 'knock-off jihadis' can't break world spirit, not only america most of the people in the world are peace leaving except few monsters.. : )

    April 24, 2013 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
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