NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) - 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 this 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, he was to speak at an interfaith vigil.
Obama was 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.
Keenan helped Obama write his speech last year following the shootings in Tucson, Ariz., that killed six and wounded 13, including Rep. Gabby Giffords.
"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."