Obama's Emotional Speech at Newtown Vigil

Obama attends vigil and offers words of prayer and support for victims and families.
18:07 | 12/17/12

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Transcript for Obama's Emotional Speech at Newtown Vigil
Thank you governor. -- -- -- -- -- -- First responders. In the community of Newtown. Clergy. -- Scripture tells us. And to not lose heart. -- -- -- We are wasting away. Inwardly we are being renewed. Day by day. -- our likes and momentary troubles are achieving for us and eternal glory that far outweighs the mall. So we fix RI us. Not on what received but. On what is unseen. Since what is seen as temporary but what is unseen is eternal. We know that if -- old Berkeley tennis we live when it is destroyed it we have a building from got. Maternal house in heaven. Not built. By human hands. We gather here in memory. Warning beautiful children. And six remarkable adults. They lost their lives in a school. That could have been any school. In a quiet town full of good and decent people. That could be any town in America. Here in new town. -- offer the -- And prayers of -- nation. I am. Very mindful. That mere words cannot match. The depths of your sorrow. Nor committee heal. Your wounded hearts. I can only hope that helps for you to know. You're not alone. In your grief. There are -- who has been torn apart. That all across this land of Morris. We have weapons would you. -- -- Our children -- And you must know that. Whatever measure of comfort we can provide. We will provide. Whatever portion. Of sadness that we can share -- you to ease. This have you -- We will gladly -- Newtown you are not alone. As these -- days have unfolded. You've also. Inspired us. The stories of strength. The result. The sacrifice. We know that when danger arrived in the halls of sandy -- element for. The school's staff did not flinch. They did not hesitate. Don -- strong and Mary sure lack. -- -- -- -- -- Rachel to be you know. And Anne Marie Murphy the they responded to it as we all hope we might respond. In such terrifying circumstances. With courage. -- -- -- -- their lives to protect. The children in their care. We know the -- other teachers. Who barricaded themselves inside classrooms and kept steady through -- all. And reassure. Their students by saying. Wait for the good guys -- -- Show -- your smile. And we know. The good guys can't the first responders. Who raced to the scene. Helping to guide those in harm's way to safety. And comfort those in need. Holding -- -- of their own shot and their own trauma wrong because they have a job to do. And others need of the more. And then. There were the scenes of the school children. Helping one another. Holding each other. Dutifully following instructions -- -- that young children sometimes -- One child even trying to encourage a grown up by saying. I know karate. So it's okay all lead. The way out. As a community you've inspired us and -- out. In the face of indescribable violence. In the face of unconscionable. People. You looked out breach of you cared for one another. -- loved. One another. This is how new town. Will be remembered. And what time and God's grace. That love we'll see you through. But we as a nation. We are left with some hard questions. You know someone once described. The joy. And anxiety of parenthood. As the equivalent. Of having your heart. Outside of your body all the time. Walking around. -- their very first cry. This most precious. Vital part of ourselves. -- child. -- suddenly exposed to the world. Possible mishap. Or malice. And every parent knows there's nothing we will not do. To shield our children from -- And yet we also know that -- that child's very first up and each step after that. They're separating from us. That. We won't. That we can't always be of their form. -- suffer sickness and setbacks. And broken hearts. And disappoint us. And we learned that our most important job. Is to give them what they need to become self reliant. And capable. And resilient. Ready to face the world without fear. And we know we can't do this by ourselves. It comes as a shot. At a certain point where you realize that no matter. How much you love these kids you can't do it by yourself. The -- job of keeping our children safe. And teaching them well. It's something we can only do together. With the help of friends. The neighbors. The help of -- community. And the help of -- nation. And that way we come to realize. That we bear responsibility for every child. Because we're counting on everybody else to help look after -- The world Paris. -- -- -- all our children. This is our first task. Caring for our children. Our first job. If we don't give that right we don't get anything right. That's how as a society we will be judged. And by that measure. Can we truly saying that as a nation. The we're meeting our obligations. Can we honestly say there were doing enough. To keep our children. All of them -- mark. Can we claim as a nation. There were. Altogether. They're letting them know that there -- a lot and teaching them to love in return. We say the war truly be doing -- not to give all. The children of this country the chance they deserve to about their lives and happiness. And what purpose. I've been reflecting on this last few days and if -- honest with ourselves. The answers not. We're not doing enough. And we will have to change. Since I've been president this is the fourth time we have come together -- Comfort a grieving community torn apart by -- Fourth time we've -- survivors. The four time. We've console the families of victims. And in between there been an endless series of deadly shootings across the country almost. Daily reports of victims many of them children in small towns and big cities all across America. Victims whose. Much of the time. There -- only fault was being in the wrong place wrong time. We can't tolerate this anymore. -- -- -- And to -- them we must change. We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex and that is true. No single wall. -- set of laws. Can eliminate. Evil from the world or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society. But that can't be an excuse for inaction. Surely we can do better than us. If there's even one step we can take to save another child. Or another parent. Or another town. From the brief its visit -- -- And a roar. And operate. And Newtown. In communities from column mind to Blacksburg before that. And surely we have an obligation to try. In the coming weeks -- -- use whatever power. This office holds to engage my fellow citizens from law enforcement. The -- help professionals to parents and educators. In an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like us. Because what choice do we have. We can't accept. Events like this as routine. We really prepared to say that we're powerless. In the face of such carnage. But the politics are too hard. We prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year. The sum up the price of our freedom. And all the world's religious. So many of them are present here today. Start with a simple question. Why are we here. What gives our life meaning. What gives our act's purpose. We know our time on this earth this -- We know -- good. We will each have our share pleasure campaign. That even after we chase after some earthly goal whether -- wealth -- power Famer. Just simple comfort. We will in some fashion. Fall short of what we had hoped. We know that no matter how good our -- us. Will all stumble sometimes. In some way. Will make mistakes. Will experience hardships. And even we're trying to do the right thing. We know that much of our time. Will be spent groping through the darkness. So often unable to discern. God's heavenly plans. There's only one thing we can be sure. And that is the love that we had. Four children. For our families. For each other. The warmth of a small -- embrace. That is true. The memories we have -- the joy that they bring. The wonder we see through their us. That fears and boundless love we feel for them. The love that takes us out of ourselves and binds us to something larger. We know that's what matters. We know were always doing right. When we're taking care of them. Former teaching them well. When we're showing acts of kindness. We don't go wrong. When we do that. That's what we can be sure -- and that's what you the people of Newtown. Have reminded us. That's how you've inspired us. You remind us what matters. That's what should drive us forward and everything we do. For as long as god sees fit to keep us on the sort. But the little children come to me Jesus said. And do not hinder them. -- to such belongs the kingdom of heaven. Charlotte. Daniel. Olivia. Josephine. And Dillon. -- Catherine. -- Jesse. James. Grace. -- Jack. -- -- -- Jessica. Benjamin. -- -- God has called them -- home. For those of us who remain. Let us find the strength to carry on. And make our country worthy of their memory. May god bless and keep those we've lost. It is heavenly place. -- grace those we still have. With his -- comfort. And may he bless and watch over this community. And the United States of America.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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