Alex Wong/Getty Images
U.S. President Barack Obama pauses as he makes a statement in response to the elementary school shooting in Connecticut December 14, 2012 at the White House in Washington, DC. Later Sunday evening, Obama will speak at an interfaith vigil in Newtown, where the tragedy occurred.
For President Barack Obama, it was another sorrowful visit to another grieving community full of broken hearts from unimaginable violence.
The spot, this time, was Newtown, Conn., where on Friday a man opened fire inside Sandy Hook Elementary School. The toll: 26 dead, including 20 boys and girls just 6 or 7 years old.
The president met privately Sunday afternoon at Newtown High School, about a mile and a half from Sandy Hook Elementary, with families of the victims and with emergency personnel who responded to the shootings. In the evening at 7 p.m., he will speak at an interfaith vigil.
In his remarks, Obama will be addressing not only the residents of Newtown, but also a stunned nation. A White House official said Obama is the primary author of his speech and edited his remarks on the flight to Connecticut with White House speechwriter Cody Keenan.
"As a nation, we have endured far too many of these tragedies in the last few years," Obama said in his weekly radio address Saturday. "An elementary school in Newtown. A shopping mall in Oregon. A house of worship in Wisconsin. A movie theater in Colorado. Countless street corners in places like Chicago and Philadelphia."
Just last summer, Obama went to Aurora, Colo., to visit victims and families after a shooting spree at a movie theater in the Denver suburb left 12 dead. He went to Tucson, Ariz., in January of last year after six people were killed and 13 were wounded, including then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, outside a grocery store.
In November 2009, Obama traveled to Fort Hood, Texas, to speak at the memorial service for 13 service members who were killed on the post by another soldier.
"We have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this. Regardless of the politics," Obama said in his broadcast remarks.
Before leaving for Connecticut, the president watched a dance rehearsal for one of his daughters in suburban Maryland.
As he said in his radio address, "this weekend, Michelle and I are doing what I know every parent is doing — holding our children as close as we can and reminding them how much we love them."
Read the President Obama's full remarks here.