Obama grieves, promises to use power to help in aftermath of Conn. shooting

Barack Obama
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Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012

NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) -- President Barack Obama is vowing to use "whatever power" he has to prevent shootings like the Connecticut school massacre.

Speaking at a memorial service in the town where the shootings took place, Obama asked, "What choice do we have?"

He said the nation can't simply say that this type of violence against children "is somehow the price of our freedom." And he said Americans can't decide they are "powerless in the face of such carnage," or that "the politics are too hard."

He said, "Sure we can do better than this. We have an obligation to try."

Near the top of his remarks, Obama read the names of the six adults who died. He finished by reading the first names of the 20 children who were killed. Cries and sobs filled the room as he read those names.

One man who attended the interfaith memorial with his son, a fourth-grader who survived the shooting unharmed, said, "That's when it really hit home."

Children at the service held stuffed teddy bears and dogs. Some sat on their parents' laps.

Before the event in Newtown, the president met privately with families of the victims and with the emergency personnel who responded to the shootings.

(Copyright 2012, The Associated Press)

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