Obama Mourns In Newtown

by Christopher O'Brien

A woman kneels outside of Newtown High School | Christopher O’Brien

By Hugh McQuaid and Chris O’Brien | IMNCT
NEWTOWN — President Barack Obama said the reaction of the Newtown community to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting inspired a nation, but it also left us with some hard questions.“Can we honestly say we’re doing enough to keep our children, all of them, safe from harm?” Obama asked. “If we’re honest with ourselves theChristopher O'Brien

answer is, ‘no.’”

Since he’s been president, this is the fourth time he’s visited a grieving community following a mass shooting.

“We can’t tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end and to end them we must change,” Obama said, acknowledging that change won’t be easy.

Satellite trucks parked in  Sandy Hook center photo:  Christopher O’Brien

The families of 15 of the 27 families who endured loss took their places at Newtown High School after meeting privately with President Obama. Other residents joined them for the interfaith service and in adjacent overflow room. Unfortunately, some town residents couldn’t make it inside as hundreds flocked the town from as far away as New Jersey, feeling the need to ‘feel close’ to the tragedy.

A CNN reporter admist a large memorial | Christopher O’Brien

Dozens of media trucks including some from German and Ukraininan networks, parked throughout the town. In many cases, trucks from multiple affilaites of the same news network seemed to duplicate efforts of reporting events in the mourning community. Police directed traffic and set up checkpoints throughout the narrow streets of Sandy hook as mutual aid came from as far away as Waterbury and Norwalk in the wooded community. Only residents were allowed in some of the roads closest to the high school.

Christopher O'Brien | Wolcott Whisper

Christopher O’Brien

Christopher O’Brien

As hundreds walked from parking lots around the landmark Blue Colony Diner, some residents felt ready to talk about the events of the last few days, while “No Media” signs also were scattered in other areas.

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