Far Away, Yet So Close

Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release                            December 14, 2012


James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

3:15 P.M. EST

     THE PRESIDENT:  This afternoon, I spoke with Governor Malloy and FBI Director Mueller.  I offered Governor Malloy my condolences on behalf of the nation, and made it clear he will have every single resource that he needs to investigate this heinous crime, care for the victims, counsel their families.

We’ve endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years.  And each time I learn the news I react not as a President, but as anybody else would — as a parent.  And that was especially true today.  I know there’s not a parent in America who 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.

So 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.  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 what I know every parent in America will do, which is hug our children a little tighter and we’ll tell them that we love them, and we’ll remind each other how deeply we love one another.  But there are families in Connecticut who cannot do that tonight.  And they need all of us right now.  In the hard days to come, that community needs us to be at our best as Americans.  And I will do everything in my power as President to help.

Because while nothing can fill the space of a lost child or loved one, all of us can extend a hand to those in need — to remind them that we are there for them, that we are praying for them, that the love they felt for those they lost endures not just in their memories but also in ours.

May God bless the memory of the victims and, in the words of Scripture, heal the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds.

America, my thoughts are with you. As a teacher, a parent, and a citizen on planet Earth I am shocked and saddened with what has recently happened both in Oregon and in Connecticut.  I feel that my President conveyed a message that speaks well for me, and that is why I have posted his remarks.


3 thoughts on “Far Away, Yet So Close

  1. Thanks, Jeff. One “good” thing so far is that most people I’ve talked to or heard haven’t been looking for a person to blame. There’s the “get rid of guns” group, of course, but that’s been around forever. But so far I haven’t heard Dems blaming Repubs, or v-v. The sadness for the lost children and their families, and for the lost teachers and staff and their families, just overwhelms. Whether in the next few weeks we see fist shaking at anything else but guns will be interesting. For my money the big hurdle is getting a communal mind-set that sick people need attending to: no problem if they’re bleeding, or have a visible growth, or even an invisible cancer; a huge, huge problem if their disease is invisible in the brain. “I know, Ms Jones, that your brother has been acting weird, and said threatening things, but we really can’t step in until he does something that’s against the law.”

    Thanks again for your posting, and your message; and thanks to the Brits who’ve expressed care.

    Best, Bruce the Bald

  2. Thanks for the kind words, Mr. Reeves. Watching the news here has such a different take, since guns are not easily accessible at all in Britain. Oh I am sure that there are guns in the hands of criminals here, but the police still do not carry them when on regular duty. I get the message from the media here that America may be too far gone to really do something about gun control since our country is so large and gun ownership is so prevalent.
    Bottom line is that children and teachers died, which did not have to happen. As a teacher I spend every minute of my day, every year, trying to make everyone happy. A nearly impossible task, but that is what I call upon myself to try and do. Taking a vendetta out on a school is something I cannot fathom.

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