Obama: Nation not doing enough to protect its children
President leads interfaith prayer vigil in Newtown, Connecticut
- Duration 18:11
- Date Dec 16, 2012
President leads interfaith prayer vigil in Newtown, Connecticut
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Thank you governor.
To all the -- -- First responders.
To the community of new -- Clergy.
-- Scripture tells us.
Do not lose heart.
We are wasting away.
Inwardly we are being renewed.
Day by day.
-- likes and momentary troubles are achieving for us maternal glory that far outweighs the mall.
So we fix our IS.
Not on what is seen -- but.
On what is unseen.
Since what is seen as temporary but.
What is on scene is eternal.
We know that if their -- earthly attempts we live and that is destroyed it we have a building from got.
-- house in heaven.
By human hands.
We gather here in memory.
And six remarkable adults.
They lost their lives in a school.
That could've been any school.
In a quiet town full of good and decent people.
That could be any town in America.
-- -- I come to offer the -- And prayers of a nation.
That mere words cannot match.
The depths of your sorrow.
-- -- -- -- -- wounded hearts.
I can only hope it helps for you to know.
The you're not alone.
In your grief.
That all rolled -- has been torn apart.
That all across this land of Morris.
We have -- would you.
Our children type.
And you must know that.
Whatever measure of comfort we can provide.
We will provide.
Of sadness that we can share we do to ease.
This have you world.
We will go everywhere.
New town you are not alone.
As these difficult days have unfolded.
You've also role.
The stories of strength.
We know that when danger arrived in the halls of sandy -- elementary.
The school's staff did not flinch.
They did not hesitate.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Rachel to be you know and Anne Marie Murphy.
They responded -- it as we all hope we might respond.
In such terrifying circumstances.
There would love.
Giving their lives to protect.
The children in their care.
We know that there were other teachers.
Who barricaded themselves inside classrooms and kept steady through at all.
Their stones by saying.
Wait for the good guys they're -- Show me your smile.
And we know.
The good guys -- the first responders.
Who raced to the scene.
Helping to guide those in harm's way to safety.
And comfort those in need.
Holding -- -- of their own shot and their own problem.
Because they had a job to do.
And others -- the more.
-- -- There were the scenes of the school children.
Helping one another.
Holding each other.
Dutifully following instructions in the way -- good.
Young children sometimes do.
One child even trying to encourage a grown up by saying.
I know karate.
So it's okay I'll lead.
The way out.
As a community you've inspired us -- In the face of indescribable violence.
In the face of unconscionable.
You looked out for each -- You've cared for one another.
-- -- One another.
This is how new town.
Will be remembered.
And what time and God's grace.
That love we'll see you through.
But we as a nation.
We are left with some hard questions.
Know someone once described.
And anxiety of parenthood.
As the equivalent.
Outside of your body all the time.
-- -- very first cry.
-- -- Precious.
Vital part of ourselves.
-- suddenly exposed to the world.
It possible mishap.
And every parent knows there's nothing we will not do.
To shield our children from -- And yet we also know that would that child's very first up and each step after that.
They're separating from us.
That we won't.
That we can't always be there form.
We'll suffer sickness and setbacks.
And broken hearts.
And we learned that our most important job.
Is to give them what they need to become self reliant.
Ready to face the world without fear.
And we know we can't do this by ourselves.
It comes is a shot.
At a certain point where you realized that no matter.
How much you love these kids you can't do it by yourself.
-- the -- job of keeping our children safe.
And teaching them well.
It's something we can only do together.
With the help of friends.
The help of a community.
And the help of -- nation.
And that way we come to realize.
That we bear responsibility for every child.
Because we're counting on everybody -- help look after -- -- -- -- -- That they're all our children.
This is our first task.
Caring for our children.
Your first job.
If we don't get that right we don't get anything right.
That's how as a society we will be judged.
And by that measure.
Can we truly saying.
As a nation.
There were meeting our obligations.
Can we honestly say there were doing enough.
To keep our children.
All of them.
Say from -- Can we claim as a nation.
They're letting them know that their lot in teaching them to love in return.
Can we say there were truly be doing enough to give all.
The children of this country the chance they deserve to about their lives and happiness.
And what purpose.
I've been reflecting on this last few days and if we're honest with ourselves.
The answer is no.
We're not doing enough.
We will have to check.
Since I've been president this is the fourth time we have come together did.
-- for a grieving community torn apart by mentioning.
Four time we -- survivors.
The four time.
We've console the families of victims.
And in between there been an endless series of deadly shootings across the country almost.
Daily reports of victims many of them children and small towns and big cities all across America.
Much of the time.
Their only fault was being in the wrong place wrong time.
We can't tolerate this anymore.
-- -- -- And to and then we must change.
We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex and that is true.
No single all.
-- set of laws.
Evil from the world or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society.
But that can't be an excuse for inaction.
Surely we can do better than us.
If there's even one step we can take to save another child.
Or another parent.
Or another town.
From the brief -- visit -- song.
And a roar.
-- -- -- And new town.
In communities from column mind to Blacksburg before that.
And surely we have an obligation to try.
In the coming weeks all use whatever power.
This office hold string gauge my fellow citizens from law enforcement.
To mental health professionals to parents and educators.
In an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like us.
Because what choice do we had.
We can't accept.
Events like this as routine.
We really prepared to say there were powerless.
In the face of such carnage.
But the politics are to our.
We prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year.
The sum up the price of our freedom.
In all the world's religious.
So many of them are presented here today.
Start with a simple question.
Why are we here.
What gives our life meaning.
What gives our act's purpose.
We know -- time on this -- is -- We know that.
We will each have our share pleasure and pain.
And even after we chase after some earthly goal whether -- wealth -- power Famer.
Just simple comfort.
We will in some fashion.
Fall short of what we had hoped.
We know that no matter how good our intentions.
Will all stumble sometimes.
In some way.
Will make mistakes.
-- experience hardships.
And even when we're trying to do the right thing.
We know that much of our charm.
Will be spent groping through the darkness.
So often unable to discern.
God's heavenly plans.
There's only one thing we can be sure.
That is the love that we had.
For our children.
For our families.
For each other.
The warmth of a small -- embrace.
That is true.
The memories we have of the joy that they -- -- wonder we see through their -- That fears and boundless love we feel for them.
-- loved it takes us out of ourselves and binds us to something larger.
We know that's what matters.
We know were always doing right.
When we're taking care of them.
Former teaching them well.
When we're showing acts of kindness.
We don't go wrong.
When we do that.
That's what we can be sure.
And that's what you the people of new town.
Have reminded us.
That's how you've inspired us.
You remind us what matters.
That's what should drive us forward and everything we did.
For as long as god sees fit to keep us on the sort.
Let the little children come to me Jesus said.
And do not hinder them.
For to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.
-- -- -- -- -- -- us.
-- -- -- God has called them -- home.
For those of us who remain.
Let us find the strength to carry long.
And make our country worthy of their memory.
May god bless and keep those we've lost.
It is heavenly place.
Many grace those we still have.
With his -- comfort.
And may he bless and watch over this community.
And the United States --