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Boston Marathon Bombing Survivors Speak At One-Year Tribute; Undersea Search; Ukrainian Troops Move East; Jewish Center Suspect

Aired April 15, 2014 - 13:00   ET


PATRICK DOWNES, BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING SURVIVOR: Let's show them they live on in our bonds of family, friendship and community. And in the infectious spirit that we will feel on the third Monday of April for years to come. I am so proud to be a Bostonian, because I am so proud to be connected to all of you.

DAVID YIPES: Vice President Biden, Governor Patrick, Mayor Walsh, Mayor Menino, survivors, first responders and distinguished guests, today marks one year from when our lives were changed forever. A change that none of us wanted nor a change we would wish on anyone else. Although each of our paths to recovery have been unique and we have all traveled at our own pace, we continue to move forward.

Today, I will not focus on the past but be mindful of our successes and thank those who have helped us take our first steps, re-climb our first mountains and reclaim our lives. To the first responders for running into harm's way and giving us the aid that we needed. To the doctors, surgeons and their staffs who completely gave of themselves to ensure that our most severely injured were given a chance to live again. To all law enforcement agencies who worked tirelessly and quickly to make our city secure again. To the physical therapists and counselors who continue to support us physically and emotionally. To the Boston Athletic Association, the One Fund contributors, and the countless others who, combined, gave us the strength to recognize each day as a new beginning and the hope for a brighter tomorrow, thank you for your love, compassion and generosity. You have touched our hearts in a way that many times our gratitude could only be expressed through our tears of joy.

LUIS YEPEZ: Governor Patrick and Mayor Menino, thank you for your leadership during one of the city's darkest moments. You are both symbols of strength and compassion. During the early days, you gave us the opportunity to mourn, to grieve, and to reflect, in private on Boylston Street, and through the creation of the One Fund, you immediately provided critical and much needed financial and emotional support.

Barbara Thorp, Lori van Dame and the entire One Fund staff, thank you for your tireless commitment to the survivors and families. You have been proactive in anticipating our needs and are completely devoted to each and every one of us on a personal level.

To the survivors, although your journey has not been easy and the road is still long, your inner strength, determination and resolve displayed during these past 12 months have made you an inspiration to many. Each step forward is a step away from the past and a step towards a new tomorrow.

Thank you all for exemplifying the highest qualities in mankind and bless those who lost their lives as a result of this tragic event. Be proud of what you've accomplished. Be proud you've decided to take control of your life. And be proud that you've chosen to live and know that each of you are making a difference in the lives of others. In the words of our President Barack Obama one year ago, he stated that even when our heart aches, we summon the strength that maybe we didn't even know we had. We carry on and we finish the race. We finish the race and we do that because of who we are. And we do that because we know that someone around the bend, a stranger, has a cup of water, around the bend, someone's there to boost our spirits, and on that toughest mile, just when we think we've hit a wall, they'll be someone there to cheer us on and pick us up if we fall.

And this day, next year, on the third Monday, the world will return to this beautiful American city to run harder than ever, to cheer louder than before, for the 118th marathon, and bet on it.

President Obama was right, here we are, one year later, we are all Boston strong, and see you on Monday.

ADRIANNE HASLET-DAVIS: Hello. Good afternoon. One year ago, my husband, Major Adam Davis, had just returned from Afghanistan, where he was fighting the war on terror, uninjured. We took a long walk into sunny Boston and, in a matter of seconds, our world was changed forever. It is difficult to believe it has only been one year. It feels like only a few weeks, and we have a long road yet to walk. I stand here today as a proud Bostonian.

Although Adam and I just moved to Boston three short years ago, the city has stood by us, supported us and helped us heal. Together, we held each other in the face of terror. We grieved in the face of tremendous loss. And we grew in the face of adversity. Our survivor community is not something any of us have chosen to be a part of. Yet we are just that, a community. There were many moments we could have not made it through had it not been for one another. We find peace in providing a shoulder to cry on, a warm embrace, and a hand to hold in a crowd. We know just by eye contact what the other is feeling. I am thankful for our friendships.

And as I look back on this past year, I think of the lessons that we have learned and have had to relearn, that no milestone is too small to celebrate, even walking into a non-handicapped bathroom stall for the first time doing a happy dance. It's the little things. I also learned that moods are contagious. Our community, our city, our first responders, our surgeons, our physical and mental therapists, would not and will not let us fail. And their unwavering devotion to strength is why we stand here Boston strong today.

I have also learned that it is OK to not be OK, that we still have to let ourselves grieve. We can stay in bed even for a few days. Yet it is that Boston strong attitude that gets us back out. And when we cannot find the strength to do it ourselves, we have those around us that lift us back up. My wish, if I were allowed to grant one, is that we use this day not as just a day of remembrance but a day of action. I wish that everyone who is facing adversity today would have the support that we have had. If anyone is wondering what they can do, what you can do, I would answer, look around. People in your community need your support. They need your patience and they need your time in dealing with similar situations such as ours. Let April 15th be a day when we all work together to make this world a better place. The biggest lesson of all the lessons that I have learned over this past year is that something in your life, in anyone's life, can go horrifically terribly wrong in a matter of seconds. Yet, it is up to us to make every single second count after, because, believe me, they do. Thank you.

BLITZER: The powerful words on this, the anniversary, the first anniversary of a horrible, horrible event, the bombing at the Boston marathon. We're standing by. We'll have much more coverage coming up, including live coverage of the vice president of the United States, Joe Biden. He is there. He will be speaking fairly soon. We'll have that.

We'll also have all the day's other important news coming up this hour. I'm Wolf Blitzer reporting from Washington.

Still ahead, a U.S. Navy vehicle hopes to get back in the water for day two of its search for wreckage from Malaysian Airlines Flight 370. The vehicle ran into trouble on its first attempt, raising new questions about whether it's the right technology for the job.

Also, Ukrainian military forces are moving into cities in the eastern part of the country. Tanks and fighter jets have been spotted. There are also isolated reports of gunfire. We're going live to Ukraine and all the day's news right after this.


BLITZER: The underwater search for Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 should resume soon after a delay caused by the weather. Here are the latest developments. Crews hope to send the Bluefin 21 drone back into the Indian Ocean. The first search yesterday was cut short after the vehicle encountered waters deeper than it was programmed for. Officials now say the initial search didn't find anything of interest. They say the aborted mission was disappointing but the drone performed like it was supposed to.

Malaysian Authorities today responded to the question of who will get custody of the plane's two black boxes. The transportation minister says determining who takes charge of the devices is not as important as finding out the truth. The initial search by the Bluefin 21 was supposed to last 20 hours, including two hours down and back up. But a source now says the mission lasted less than eight hours.

For the very latest, let's go to our correspondent, Will Ripley. He's in Perth, Australia. He's got more.

What are you learning, Will? WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Wolf.

We are still working to confirm with the Joint Agency Coordination Center whether the Bluefin-21 is back in the water yet or still on this ship. We know that there was some rough weather in the area that was delaying them getting that submersible back in the water. Its mission on Monday, late Monday night, had to be cut short. It was aborted only 29 percent in, so less than a third of the work was completed. We're told the reason for that, as you said, the submersible got down and the water in the area was deeper than the programmers believed it was.

The way this works is, they program a route ahead of time and then the submersible goes down and does its work. And it stays about 100 feet above the ocean floor. So if this submersible detects that the ocean floor drops below that 4,500 meter mark where it would be -- the pressure would become dangerous on the submersible, it could actually harm the equipment, that's when the machinery then aborts the mission and it goes back up to the surface.

They programmed in a couple of other backup routes, Wolf, but those backup routes were also too deep. So this, obviously, raises the question, does this piece of equipment have the capability to do what needs to be done in this area of the ocean with those extreme depths?

BLITZER: There's a lot of expectation on that Bluefin-21. So, do authorities where you are consider this a setback?

RIPLEY: I would say that it's considered a setback, but they also do acknowledge that the equipment did exactly what it's designed to do. Obviously they would like to complete a full mission, which is 20 hours, two hours down, 16 hours of scanning, two hours back up and then another four hours to download that data. So the fact that they got a limited amount of data from a much shorter mission, that is a setback at a time when they're trying to get information turned around as quickly as possible. But again, all along, the search chief has been trying to manage expectations, saying they expect this to be a slow process. So it appears that setbacks like this come with the territory.

BLITZER: Will Ripley on the scene for us in Perth, Australia, with the very latest. Thanks, Will. We're going to have more on this story coming up. We'll take a quick break.

When we come back, Arwa Damon, she is now in Ukraine reporting on the latest tensions, and they are escalating. Stand by.


BLITZER: Let's go to Ukraine now where government troops are heading into the disputed areas of eastern Ukraine. Pro-Russian militants have seized government buildings in as many as 10 cities and towns. Ukraine's acting president promised action to move the demonstrators out and today we're seeing the first evidence of that operation. Our Nick Paton Walsh and his crew saw a column (ph) of armored personnel carriers and troops heading north out of Donetsk (ph) into one of the areas where militants overran a police headquarters. Let's bring in our senior international correspondent Arwa Damon. She's joining us now from Kiev, the capital of Ukraine.

So, Arwa, based on all the reporting, doing everything you're learning, where does this operation stand right now?

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, it's still very much in its initial stages, but Ukraine's acting president, Oleksandr Turchynov, saying that Ukrainian special forces had managed to recapture an air field in the city of (INAUDIBLE), from terrorists. The government vowing that very soon there would be no more terrorists on Ukrainian territory.

Along with that military mobilization, the government here also dispatching about 350 members of a newly trained national guard unit. Its members, former activists themselves. Plus, we're seeing a lot of civilians taking matters into their own hands. But this is an operation that a lot of Ukrainians we've been speaking to in Kiev wanted to see the government undertake. The government coming under harsh criticism for its perceived inaction. But this sort of military might, this sort of military push into the eastern part of the country, could potentially have some very dangerous consequences, Wolf.

BLITZER: It could be a powder keg if the Ukrainian military, for example, Arwa, as you well know, goes too far. That could trigger literally a civil war, if you will. The Russians would then be tempted to actually move in. They haven't done so formally yet. But this is a really, really tense moment. Give us a sense of the anticipation there.

DAMON: It most certainly is incredibly tense because no one is entirely sure what the ripple-on effect of this sort of military action is going to be. And that is one of the reasons why the Ukrainian government was perhaps reluctant to take such military action alongside the fact that they say that they did not want to see any more bloodshed. There are great concerns that the Russians could potentially retaliate. Russia does have 40,000 troops along the Russian/Ukrainian border with Moscow saying that they're just there as part of a military training exercise.

But at the same time, the Russian government has maintained that it reserves the right to protect its own interests and to protect the Russian speaking population in Ukraine. The United States amongst the many actors here that has been trying to convince the Russian government to pullback its troops to avert any sort of escalation of the tensions here, while the Russians are saying that it is basically up to the west to try to determine whether or not Ukraine finds itself in the midst of a civil war. So what we're seeing right now, Wolf, is really the beginning of what could potentially be a very tenuous chapter in this country's history.

BLITZER: Arwa Damon reporting for us from Kiev. Arwa, we, of course, will stay in very close touch with you. Thank you.

Just ahead, the white supremacist who is accused of shooting three people at a Jewish-affiliated (ph) in Kansas, police now say it was clearly a hate crime. He hasn't been charged with it yet, but we're expecting that to happen. That story and more coming up.


BLITZER: Welcome back. I'm Wolf Blitzer, reporting from Washington.

Prosecutors announced charges against the white supremacist accused in the shootings that left three people dead outside two Jewish- affiliated facilities near Kansas City. Frasier Glenn Cross is facing one count of capital murder, one count of premeditated murder, but federal hate crime charges have not yet been filed. The U.S. attorney says his office is still investigating the incident. For more on all of this, George Howell is joining us. He's joining us live from Overland Park, Kansas. That's right outside of Kansas City.

So what can you tell us about the charges that have now been formally announced, George?

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, we know something now about this sentencing, what prosecutors could go for in this case. They could either choose to go for life without parole or they could choose to go for the death penalty. But at this (INAUDIBLE) what their plan will be in this case (ph), except to tell us now that we know that Cross is facing two charges, one charge for capital murder. Capital murder for the death of William Corporon and his grandson. His 14- year-old grandson, Reat Underwood. Remember that they came here to this Jewish Community Center. Reat was supposed to compete in a singing competition. Both were shot and killed in their car. And then about a mile away, this is where Terri LaManno was shot and killed at a retirement home. That is the second charge, a charge of premeditated murder. First degree premeditated murder.

I want you to hear what prosecutor said just about an hour ago so you can get a sense of how they plan to move forward in this case. Take a listen.



STEVE HOWE, JOHNSON COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: It is too early to make that decision. That is an option under the first count of capital murder. The options for the sentence are life without parole. Or if we choose, we file a notice of -- requesting the death penalty. That is something that we don't have to file when we file the charges. That is a - I don't take that decision lightly. And that decision will be made after we get all the facts and evidence of this case, because we want to make an informed decision before that is done.


HOWELL: At this point, the bond for Cross is set at $10 million. We do expect to see him at a bond hearing here within the next hour, Wolf.