In the wake of the Colorado shooting at a showing of the Dark Knight rises, President Obama canceled his campaign events and instead delivered to the nation a message of love and unity.
Here is the video from NBC News:
After offering condolences, promising federal help to Colorado, and justice for the victims, President Obama said,
Even as we learn how this happened, we may never understand what leads anyone to terrorize bellow human beings. Such violence, such evil is senseless and beyond reason. We never know fully what causes one person to take the life of another. We don’t know what makes life worth living. People in Aurora loved and were loved. Mothers, husbands, brothers, sons, daughters, friends and neighbors — they had hopes for the future and they had dreams that were not yet fulfilled.
And if there is anything to take way from this tragedy it is the reminder that life is very fragile. Our time here is limited and it is precious. And what matters at the end of the day is not the small things, it’s not the trivial things that so often consume us and our daily lives. Ultimately, it’s how we choose to treat one another and how we love one another. It’s what we do on a daily basis and to give our lives meaning and purpose. That’s what matters. At the end of the day what we’ll remember is those we loved, and what we did for others. That’s why we’re here.
I am sure that many of you who are parents here had the same reaction that I did when I heard this news. My daughters go to the movies. What if Malia and Sasha had been in the theater, as so many of our kids do everyday? Michelle and I will be fortunate enough to hug our girls a little tighter tonight, and I’m sure you’ll do the same with your children. But for those parents who may not be so lucky, we have to embrace them and let them know that we will be there for them as a nation.
Again, I am so grateful that you are here. I am so moved by your support, but there are going to be other days for politics. This I think is a day for prayer and reflection. So what I’d ask everybody to do, I’d like us to pause in a moment of silence for the victims of this terrible tragedy, for the people who knew them and loved them, for those who are still struggling to recover, and for all the victims of less publicized acts of violence that plague our communities every single day, so if everybody can just take a moment.
Thank you everybody, I hope all of you will keep the people of Aurora in your hearts and minds today.
The setting presented an initially odd contrast. A boisterous crowd was excited and ready to hear the president speak, but Obama did an excellent job of redirecting the audience. Compare the looks on the faces of the people behind the president before he started speaking with when he concluded.
President Obama’s message of love overcoming hate is one that the nation needs to hear at this moment. Much like Bill Clinton, Obama understands his presidential role in times of grief and crisis. Throughout his time in office, Obama’s message of love and unity overcoming violence, tragedy, and hate has been consistent.
Barack Obama has been a fairly reserved president, but on occasions like these we get some insight into his personal priorities and emotions. President Obama appears to define himself as a parent, which is why he empathizes with parents who have gone through tragedy so easily.
Now isn’t the time to speculate about motivations, or attach politics to anything. The facts will be revealed through the course of the criminal investigation. Today should be about coming together.
When violence such as what happened in Colorado occurs, we need to put our divisions aside and again become a national family. Barack Obama is the head of our national family, and he offered us a hopeful message of love that we should all be able to stand behind.