WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama used his weekly radio address to offer solace and prayers after the Friday shooting that killed 20 children at a Connecticut elementary school.
“Every parent in America has a heart heavy with hurt,” the president said in a taped address released Saturday.
In all, 28 people died, including the shooter, who took his own life, in the slaughter at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
Obama called on Americans to extend a hand to the families of the victims, and come together “to take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this. Regardless of the politics.”
Obama’s emotional remarks echoed those he delivered Friday at the White House, when he fought back tears and paused to collect himself as he talked about the shootings.
House Speaker John A. Boehner canceled the Republican rebuttal to the president’s weekly address, out of respect for the victims.
The Ohio Republican said Obama could “speak for the entire nation at this time of mourning. I join the president — and all Americans — in sending prayers and condolences to the victims’ loved ones.”
In addition to the victims’ families, Obama offered support to the parents of schoolchildren who survived but who will always remember a day of terrible violence.
“As blessed as they are to have their children home, they know that their child’s innocence has been torn away far too early,” he said.
The president said he and first lady Michelle Obama would spend the weekend “holding our children as close as we can and reminding them how much we love them.”