Obama: 'They had their entire lives ahead of them' - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Obama: 'They had their entire lives ahead of them'

By Michael O'Brien, NBC News

WASHINGTON, DC (NBC) -- An emotional President Barack Obama led the nation in mourning the victims of an elementary school massacre on Friday, speaking from the White House following the shooting in Newtown, Conn.

The president spoke from the White House, where he not only pledged to assist investigations into the shooting, but also became openly emotional upon reflecting upon the many school children killed or injured in today's mass shooting.

"The majority of those who died today were children -- beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10-years-old," he said, pausing to wipe away a tear. "They had their entire lives ahead of them -- birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own."

"Our hearts are broken today, for the parents, grandparents, sisters and brothers of these little children," Obama added, "as well as the families of the adults who were lost."

The president said that he has become all too familiar with making statements of grief following mass shooting incidents, referencing recent events at a mall this week in Oregon, at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin in August, and at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., in August.

Those events -- along with a Jan. 2011 attack in Arizona that severely injured then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and left six others dead -- have done little to provoke political action to rein in gun violence. In his remarks Friday, the president suggested that the time might have come for some sort of work to prevent similar tragedies.

"We're going to have to come together to take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics," he said.

In the meanwhile, the president said he was in contact with Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy and other government officials to provide them with adequate resources. Obama also ordered that flags be flown at half-mast through sunset on Dec. 18.

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