President Barack Obama addressed the nation about the tragedy today in Newtown, Connecticut at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Twenty-four-year-old Ryan Lanza walked into the principal’s office at the school and killed the principal and school psychiatrist. He then went to the classroom where his mother was teaching kindergartners and opened fire.
Among the 26 people killed are some 18 children.
(Updated with excerpts from the speech) Obama offered his condolences to Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy. He wiped a tear from his eye.
“I know there’s not a parent in America that doesn’t feel the same overwhelming grief that I do,” Obama said. “The majority of those who died today were children, beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old.” Here, Obama paused.
“They had their entire lives ahead of them, birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own,” Obama said “Among the fallen were also teachers, men and women who devoted their lives to helping children fulfill their dreams.”
“Our hearts are broken today for the parents and grandparents, sisters and brothers of these children and the families of the adults we lost,” Obama continued. “As a country, we have been through this too many times, whether it’s an elementary school in Newton, a mall in Oregon, or a movie theater in Aurora, or a street corner in Chicago. These neighborhoods are our neighborhoods, and these children are our children.”
“We’re going to have to come together to take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.”
“This evening Michelle and I will do whah every parent in America will do — hug our children a little tighter and tell them that we love them,” Obama said. “There are families in Connecticut that cannot do that tonight and they need all of us tonight.”
“May god bless the memory of the victims and in the words of scripture heal the broken hearted and bind up their wounds.”
Watch the president’s speech, embedded below via CNN.
[image via AFP]
Additional updates by Kay Steiger