At an interfaith service honoring the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings, our civic leaders struck a tone of resilience and hope.

"This is Boston," Mayor Tom Menino said. "A city with courage, compassion and and strength that knows no bounds."

Menino arrived to the church podium by wheelchair, as he recovers from surgery to a broken leg. And what followed proved to be symbolic for a city trying to heal, but not quite ready to rise again.

The mayor cast aside his wheelchair, grimaced in pain and pulled himself up, to stand on his broken leg to address the crowd.

"No adversity, no challenge, nothing can tear down the resilience and the heart of this city and its people," he said.

Menino’s speech often sounds garbled, but at this service, every word was clear as he detailed the acts of heroism and the compassion following the marathon bombings.

"We love the fathers and brothers, who took shirts off their backs to stop the bleeding," Menino said. "The mothers and the sisters who cared for the injured."

Menino, who has presided over Boston longer than any other Mayor, said he has never been prouder of this city.

"I have never loved it and its people more than I do today," he said. "We have never loved it, as people, more than we do today."

The mayor thanked the rest of the country for its prayers and wishes. And he even brought a smile when he thanked that archrival.

"I even love New York City more," he said. "Sweet Caroline, playing at Yankee Stadium. And our city's flag flying in lower Manhattan."

Menino remembered the three victims of the bombings: 29-year-old restaurant manager Krystle Campbell, Boston University graduate student from China Lingzi Lu, and 8-year-old Martin Richards.

"It gives us strength to say goodbye to the young boy with the big heart, Martin Richard," he said. "We pray for his sister and his mom, his brother and his dad. It helps us to say that we'll miss Krystle Cambpell, the celebrated spirit that brought her to the marathon year after year. And it relieves us to mourn Lingzi Lu, who came to the city in search of an education and found new friends that will never forget her."

Gov. Deval Patrick soon followed and pointed to how difficult this week has been.

"In my faith tradition, scripture teaches: In everything, give thanks," he said. "That isn't always easy to do. On Monday afternoon I was not feeling it."

Patrick said after Monday’s attack, he felt shock, confusion and anger. But since then, he’s found lots to be thankful for.

"I’m thankful for the firefighters and police officers and EMTs who ran towards the blasts, not knowing whether the attack was over. And the volunteers and other civilians who ran to help right along side them.

He praised the doctors and nurses and medical staff who treated victims with horrific wounds. He thanked law enforcement for piecing together what happened and who’s responsible. And he thanked the indomitable Menino.

"Mayor Menino started Monday morning frustrated he couldn't be at the finish line this time as he always is," Patrick said. "And then late that afternoon, checked himself out of the hospital to help this city our city face down this tragedy."

With the bombing occurring on Patriot’s Day, Patrick said the attack happened on a special day in Massachusetts history and is an attack on who we are.

"We’re organized around a handful of civic ideals," he said. "And we have defined those ideals over time and through struggle as equality, freedom and fair play. An attack on a civic ritual like the marathon, especially on Patriot's Day, is an attack on those values."

Patrick said the city will recover and repair, that we will grieve our losses and heal.

"We will rise, and we will endure," he said. "We will have accountability without vengeance. Vigilance without fear."

After the President’s emotional tribute ended, the cathedral cleared out. With Menino providing the most poignant symbolism, a man down in a wheel chair who rose to his feet just when the city’s psyche needed it most.

The mayor assured the thousands inside the cathedral and the thousands more who were watching the service around the country that Boston would endure.

"I'm telling you, nothing can defeat the heart of this city," Menino said. “Nothing nothing will take us down, because we take care of one another. Even with the smell of smoke in the air and blood in the streets and tears in our eyes, we triumphed over that hateful act Monday afternoon. It’s a glorious thing.”