(CNN) – Honoring victims of last year’s bombing near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, Vice President Joe Biden said Tuesday the terrorists who carried out the act could never claim victory over America’s ideals.
“You will send a resounding message around the world - not just around the world but to the terrorists – that we will never yield. We will never cower. America will never ever stand down,” Biden told survivors of the 2013 attack, which left three people dead and scores more injured.
Biden said the very fact the survivors returned to mark the one-year anniversary of the bombing was evidence of their vast wells of courage.
“I know from some experience this is a bitter, bittersweet moment for all of you,” he said. Biden lost his first wife and daughter in a car crash when he was 29.
Anniversaries, he said, can bring “every memory back in sharp relief.”
“In a sense you almost would rather not have it happen,” he said. “But, as I said to you when we talked in the back of the auditorium, thank you for your courage. Thank you for your courage.”
The White House was planning to mark the one-year anniversary of the Boston bombings with a moment of silence during a meeting of President Barack Obama’s senior advisers. In a written statement earlier Tuesday, Obama said his prayers were with survivors still working to recover.
The President praised first responders and others whose bravery came to define the day.
“We also know that the most vivid images from that day were not of smoke and chaos, but of compassion, kindness and strength,” he wrote.
During his remarks, Biden said survivors of the terror attack served as proof of America’s resilience.
"You are living proof that America can never, never, never be defeated," he said. "You are the proof of that assertion. So much has been taken from you but you have never, ever given up."