President Obama Speaks Interfaith Vigil for San...
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NEWTOWN, Conn. — President Barack Obama spoke here Sunday night at the vigil in memory of the people killed at the Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Candles — one for each victim — were lit on a black-draped table in front of the podium as a diverse collection of clergy led the beginning of the program.
President Obama Speaks at Vigil for Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting Victims Newtown Connecticut
"We needed this. We needed to be together here in this room, in the gymnasium, outside the doors of this school, in living rooms around the world. We needed to be together to show that we are together and united," Rev. Matt Crebbin of the Newtown Congregational Church said at the start of the program.
The president's speech came at the end of the memorial service commemorating the 26 people — including 20 children — killed Friday. Before the vigil, Obama met with victims' families and first responders, as well as Connecticut Malloy and the state's congressional delegation.
Families streamed into the auditorium of Newtown High School, just a mile and a half from the site of the massacre. Adults -- many wearing ribbons in the green and white school colors pinned to their lapels — greeted each other with hugs. Many children clutched floppy-eared brown plush dogs that the local Red Cross was distributing outside.
First responders were cheered and applauded as they entered the auditorium as the vigil began.
They listened to the president's speech at the end of the memorial service commemorating the 26 people — including 20 children — killed Friday. Before the vigil, Obama met with victims' families and first responders, as well as Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy and the state's congressional delegation.
Obama wrote the speech working with speechwriter Cody Keenan, who also assisted with Obama's post-Tucson shooting speech and went to high school in Connecticut.
This was the second time this year and fourth since taking office that Obama arrived to help lead the mourning over the victims of a mass shooting. In July, it was 12 dead and 58 injured at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater.
Just under two years ago, it was six killed and 13 — including then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) — injured outside a Tucson supermarket. Before that, it was Fort Hood, Texas, where a U.S. Army major killed 13 people and wounded 29 in November 2009.