In an emotional address, the president responded Friday to a shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.
Here is some of what the President had to say:
“We’ve endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years. Each time I learn the news I react not as a president but as anybody else would as a parent.
“That was especially true today.
“I know there’s not a parent in America that doesn’t feel the same overwhelming grief that I do.
“The majority of those who died today were children, beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old.
“They had their entire lives ahead of them, birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own.
“Among the fallen were also teachers – men and women who devoted their lives to helping our 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.
“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.
“As a country, we have been through this too many times. Whether it’s an elementary school in Newtown, or a shopping mall in Oregon, or a temple in Wisconsin, or a movie theater in Aurora, or a street corner in Chicago – these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods, and these children are our children. And we’re going to have to come together and 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.
“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.”
[Updated at 2:52 p.m. ET] We have just learned via a tweet from House Speaker John Boehner that flags at the U.S. Capitol will be lowered.
Have ordered flags over the @uscapitol to be lowered in tribute to families & victims at #SandyHook.