NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – President Barack Obama left behind more than a memory in Newtown on Sunday.
Obama spoke Sunday night at an interfaith vigil at Sandy Hook High School in Newtown, Conn., with a town still seeking to comprehend the unimaginable massacre of its children and teachers, and emphasizing that American society may no longer accept mass shootings.
“Because what choice do we have?” a somber Obama said at the evening vigil in the grieving community of Newtown. “We can’t accept events like this as routine. Are we really prepared to say that we’re powerless in the face of such carnage? That the politics are too hard?”
Newtown football coach Steve George and teacher Bob Pattison left a note on George’s board for the president thanking him for his support.
The note read: “Dear President Obama,
The Newtown community is so thankful that you are coming to help us heal. In times of adversity, it is reassuring to know that we have a strong leader to help us recover.”
George later posted on Twitter that Obama responded.
“You’re in our thoughts and prayers,” Barack Obama.
Obama’s visit came two days after Adam Lanza, 20, opened fire inside Sandy Hook Elementary School killing 26 people, including 20 boys and girls just 6 or 7 years old.
During the vigil, Obama praised the courage of the six adults – the principal, teachers and other school staff – who gave their lives.
“They responded as we all hope we might respond in such terrifying circumstances – with courage and with love – giving their lives to protect the children in their care,” Obama said.
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