Obama: Newtown, You Are Not Alone

At memorial, he pledges to curb violence

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 16, 2012 11:51 PM CST

(Newser) – At a nationally televised memorial service for the Newtown school shooting victims, President Obama told the town's shattered people that America shared their grief and vowed to do everything in his power to prevent further tragedies. "I can only hope it helps for you to know that you’re not alone in your grief; that our world, too, has been torn apart; that all across this land of ours, we have wept with you, we’ve pulled our children tight," he said. "And you must know that whatever measure of comfort we can provide, we will provide; whatever portion of sadness that we can share with you to ease this heavy load, we will gladly bear it. Newtown—you are not alone."

Obama lamented that America had failed "to keep our children, all of them" safe and, without specifically mentioning gun control, pledged a fresh effort to curb violence, the Washington Post reports. "We can't tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end. And to end them we must change," he said. "In the coming weeks, I'll use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens from law enforcement to mental health professionals to parents and educators in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this. Because what choice do we have? We can't accept events like this as routine." Before the evening service, Obama met with first responders and families who lost loved ones.

President  Obama pauses during a speech at an interfaith vigil for the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting .
President Obama pauses during a speech at an interfaith vigil for the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting .   (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
President Obama pauses as he delivers a speech during an interfaith vigil for the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
President Obama pauses as he delivers a speech during an interfaith vigil for the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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