Obama Speaks at Sandy Hook Vigil: ‘These Tragedies Must End’ [Video]

NEW YORK | Sunday, December 16th, 2012 11:10pm EDT

President Barack Obama arrived at Newtown to meet with the families of victims of Friday’s school shooting, and to thank first responders for their work.

America is failing to meet its basic obligation to keep its children safe, said President Obama during the meeting with the families of victims of the Sandy Hook primary school massacre.

“These tragedies must end,” the U.S. president told an interfaith vigil. “And to end them we must change”.

As Obama delivered his remarks to a secondary school hall filled with relatives and friends of the 20 young children and seven teachers who died, sobbing could be heard from the audience, The Telegraph reports.

Admitting that “no single law – no set of laws – can eliminate evil from the world”, Obama insisted that this still must “not be an excuse for inaction”, asking: “Surely we can do better than this?”.

Obama’s speech was the fourth in a series of remarks concerning the Friday’s bloody massacre in the state of Connecticut.

Today Obama also met his daughter, Sasha, at her dance rehearsal at the Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda, Md, The White House informed.

And as he took the stage at Newtown High School, it was evident that the president still occupied the mindset of a father frightened at vulnerability of young children, The Huffington Post writes.

“If there’s even one step we can take to save one child, or one parent, or one town from the grief that has visited Tucson, and Aurora and Oak Creek and Newtown and communities from Columbine to Blacksburg before that, then surely we have an obligation to try,” Obama told the auditorium.

“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 to prevent more tragedies like this,” he said. “Because what choice do we have?”

Meanwhile, schools across the country are scheduled to open, though there will be signs everywhere of how unusual the situation has become, Reuters claims.

Some schools revealed their plans to put on extra security guards, while others will begin their day with a moment of silence.

On social networking sites, young people nationwide have urged their classmates to wear green and white, the colors of Sandy Hook Elementary School.

“I’m struggling with if I should bring it up at all. And if I do, what am I going to say about it? I’m just praying about it, because I don’t know,” said Molli Falgout, a first-grade teacher in Kernersville, North Carolina.

However, Newtown’s schools are not ready to start working again. City officials explained that teachers need time to prepare for the students’ return.

However, kids will be occupied as the town’s youth sports groups have set up a field day of sorts. Schools superintendent Janet Robinson described it as an effort “to help provide some small level of comfort and support to the children in our community.”

The community is also expected to decide what to do with the bullet-ridden elementary school, whose students will for now attend classes in an empty building the next town over.

“I think we have to go back into that building at some point. That’s how you heal. It doesn’t have to be immediately but I sure wouldn’t want to give up on it,” said local resident Tim Northrop.

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