The Democrats' convention opened on Monday with speeches by some of the party's senior members, including the last Democratic President, Bill Clinton.
On day one, delegates saw some big names on the podium
The climax of the convention will come on Thursday, when John Kerry formally accepts his party's nomination to run in November's presidential elections.
Here are some of the key quotes from the first day of the convention.
Former President Bill Clinton:
"Tonight I speak as a citizen, eager to join you here in Boston as a foot soldier in the fight for our future, as we nominate a true New England patriot for president. The state that gave us John Adams and John Kennedy has now given us John Kerry, a good man, a great Senator, a visionary leader...
"We Democrats will bring the American people a positive campaign, arguing not who's good and who's bad, but what is the best way to build the safe, prosperous world our children deserve...
Clinton called for shared responsibilities
"Democrats and Republicans have very different ideas on what choices we should make, rooted in fundamentally different views of how we should meet our common challenges at home and how we should play our role in the world.
"Democrats want to build an America of shared responsibilities and shared opportunities. Republicans believe in an America run by the right people, their people."
"They [Republicans] chose to use that moment of unity [post 11 September attacks] to try to push the country too far to the right, and to walk away from our allies - not only in attacking Iraq before the weapons inspectors had finished their work, but in withdrawing American support for the climate change treaty and for the international court on war criminals, and from the anti-ballistic missiles treaty and from the nuclear test ban treaty.
Now, at a time when we are trying to get other people to give up biological and chemical weapons, they are trying to develop two new nuclear weapons which they say we might use first. At home, the president and the republican Congress have made equally fateful choices."
Former President Jimmy Carter:
"Our country faces many challenges at home involving energy, taxation, the environment, education, and health.
"To meet these challenges, we need new leaders in Washington whose policies are shaped by working American families instead of the super-rich and their armies of lobbyists.
Carter: Avoid unnecessary wars
"But the biggest reason to make John Kerry president is even more important: it is to safeguard the security of our nation...
"After 9/11, America stood proud, wounded but determined and united. A cowardly attack on innocent civilians brought us an unprecedented level of cooperation and understanding around the world.
"But in just 34 months, we have watched with deep concern as all this goodwill has been squandered by a virtually unbroken series of mistakes and miscalculations.
Unilateral acts and demands have isolated the United States from the very nations we need to join us in combating terrorism...
"As a proven defender of our national security, John Kerry will strengthen the global alliance against terrorism while avoiding unnecessary wars."
Former Vice-President Al Gore:
Gore: New leadership needed
"To those of you who felt disappointed or angry with the outcome in 2000, I want you to remember all of those feelings, but then I want you to do with them what I have done - focus them fully and completely on putting John Kerry and John Edwards in the White House in 2004.
"No challenge is more critical than the situation we confront in Iraq. Regardless of your opinion at the beginning of this war, isn't it now obvious that the way the war has been managed by the Administration has gotten us into very serious trouble?
Wouldn't we be better off with a new president who hasn't burned his bridges to our allies, and who could rebuild respect for America in the world?...
"I firmly believe America needs new leadership that will make us stronger at home and respected in the world.
We are here this week to present to the nation the man who should be our new president: John Kerry."
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton:
"Together we can widen the circle of opportunity for all Americans, transcend our differences and divisions, and give our children a safer and more secure future.
Kerry is a a serious man for a serious job, says Hillary Clinton
"That's the promise of America. John Kerry will renew and keep that promise. He will lead the world, not alienate it. Lower the deficit, not raise it. Create good jobs, not lose them. Solve a health care crisis, not ignore it...
"Being a Senator from New York, I saw first-hand the devastation of 9/11. I visited Ground Zero right after we were attacked.
"I felt like I was standing at the Gates of Hell. I hope no American ever has to witness a sight like that again...
"We need a new commander in chief - John Kerry - John Kerry is a serious man, for a serious job. So let's work our hearts out and send him to the White House
in 2004. And I'm optimistic we will because I know a great leader when I see one. And so does America."
Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe:
"The convention will show all Americans that with John Kerry and John Edwards in the White House our nation and our people will once again be stronger at home and respected in the world."