A tearful President Barack Obama expressed “overwhelming grief” on Friday for the victims of a shooting rampage at a Connecticut elementary school and called on Americans to set aside politics and “take meaningful action” to prevent more tragedies of this kind. “We’ve endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years,” Obama said, his voice cracking with emotion at times during a nationally televised appearance in the White House briefing room just hours after one of the worst shooting rampages in U.S. history.
At least 27 people have been killed, including 20 children, in the shooting that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, about 60 miles northeast of New York City. A second person was found dead at a secondary scene nearby, said state police. “The majority of those who died were children — beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old,” Obama said.
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He paused for several seconds to keep his composure as he teared up and wiped an eye. Nearby, two aides cried and held hands as they listened to Obama. “Our hearts are broken today, for the parents, and grandparents, sisters and brothers of these little children and for the families of the adults who were lost,” Obama said. “Our hearts are broken for the parents of the survivors as well, for as blessed as they are to have their children home tonight, they know that their children’s innocence has been torn away from them too early and there are no words that will ease their pain,” he said.
“They had their entire lives ahead of them — birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own,” the president said of those who were killed. He ordered that U.S. flags be flown at half-staff on public grounds through Tuesday.
Now I want to know what President have you ever seen cry at a press conference after a national tragedy?