Stepping for the first time into the role of national consoler, President Obama is honoring the 13 people slain in the Ft. Hood shooting rampage by remembering what they left behind, offering personal stories about the lives they touched and the service they provided to their country. The president and first lady Michelle Obama began an afternoon of consolation by meeting privately with family members of those killed last week on this enormous Army post.
The Obamas also were meeting with those wounded in the attack and released from the hospital, along with their families, before the president speaks at an outdoor memorial service here. Thousands upon thousands, many of them soldiers dressed in camouflage, gathered to pay respects and hear the president. The shooting left 12 soldiers and one civilian dead, injured 29 others, and left a nation stunned and searching for answers.