MEMORIAL SERVICE IN NEWTOWN, CT (DEC. 16):
President Obama has assumed the role of Consoler-In-Chief over the past few days since the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut on Friday.
He has made two public appearances on behalf of the victims. On Friday, hours after the rampage ended, he spoke from the White House Briefing Room (see below) to reporters and media that had gathered. During his remarks, tears openly fell down his face as he struggled to discuss the breaking news story of 20 children and six adults murdered at the school.
On Sunday, Obama flew to Newtown, CT to speak at a memorial service for the victims (see above). There, he invoked Bible passages, memories, and some tough questions for Americans in the wake of the tragedy, including:
“Are we really prepared to say that we are powerless in the face of such carnage?
Are we prepared to say that the violence visited on our children year after year .. is somehow the price of our freedom?”
Those were some good questions. The speech overall was quite appropriate, encouraging, yet somber. As the president mentioned all 26 victims by name, you could hear the open weeping from their family and friends in the audience.
It’s still hard for me, and I’m sure many of you, to understand this senseless tragedy. The president said that Americans will do whatever they can to lessen the burden of sorrow that each of the families face.
WHITE HOUSE PRESS CONFERENCE (DEC. 14):