President Obama arrived in Boston with the first lady this morning to address the community in the wake of Monday's marathon bombing, which left three dead, more than 170 injured and a city in mourning.
Obama's first stop will be at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston's South End. The president plans to speak at an interfaith service called "Healing Our City." The president and first lady are also expected to meet with victims and first responders later today.
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Both the Boston Children's Chorus and the cathedral's choir will perform at the front of the church this morning. American cellist Yo-Yo Ma is also expected to play.
The cathedral seats more than 2,000 people. It is the "mother church" of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston and has intricate stained glass windows. The church says it is New England's largest and earliest stained-glass collection.
The front rows of the church were reserved for dignitaries. By 10:30 a.m., big name Boston politicians and celebrities had already begun to fill the pews in anticipation of the president's speech. Those in attendance included Mitt Romney and eldest son Tagg, Rep. Joe Kennedy and his wife, actor Bradley Cooper, Theresa Heinz Kerry, Rep. Niki Tsongas, Rep. James McGovern, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley and journalist Mike Barnicle.
Marathoners sporting blue and yellow Boston Athletics jackets were also among those packed into the church this morning.
The mood before the service was joyful with attendees chatting and laughing with those seated, but a somber mood fell over the audience minutes the service began and visitors became silent as the cathedral choir sang and the crowd waited for the service to begin.