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12.16.12

Watch Obama Speeches on Newtown, Aurora, Tucson & More (VIDEO)

It’s the fourth time the president has had to ‘comfort a grieving community torn apart by mass shootings.’ See Obama’s addresses on Sandy Hook Elementary, the Aurora movie theater, the Wisconsin Sikh temple, and a Tucson supermarket.

Newtown, Conn.: Theyre All Our Children

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“All across this land of ours, we have wept with you,” President Obama said Sunday night in Newtown, Conn. The president told a grieving Newtown that the town would be remembered for inspirational “stories of strength, resolve, and sacrifice.” He then spoke of parenting and communal responsibility, admitting that we’re not doing enough as a nation to “keep our children, all of them, safe from harm,” and demanding change. Obama promised to use his position “in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this,” but he didn’t give specifics, instead focusing on the general impact of the tragedy. In a life that is uncertain, he said, “there’s only one thing that we can be sure of. And that is the love that we have.” He concluded by naming each of the children who died and implored America to “make our country worthy of their memory.”

Oak Creek, Wis.: All of Us Are Heartbroken

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Obama gave a short, solemn speech after six people were killed at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., on Aug. 5, 2012, offering condolences on behalf of his wife, Michelle, and the nation. “I think all of us recognize that these kinds of terrible tragic events are happening with too much regularity,” said the president, who called for “some soul-searching to examine additional ways that we can reduce violence.”

Aurora, Colo.: ‘Out of This Darkness, a Brighter Day Is Going to Come’

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“Words are always inadequate in these kinds of situations,” the president said after a man opened fire in a movie theater on July 20, 2012, killing 12 and injuring 58. But Obama wanted to assure the families of the victims that “we are thinking about them at this moment and will continue to think about them each and every day.” Perhaps that “might serve as some comfort,” he said. After recounting survivors’ tales of resilience and courage, the president said he hoped that this atrocity would encourage America to “reflect on how we can do something about some of the senseless violence that ends up marring this country, but also reflect on all the wonderful people who make this the greatest country on Earth.”

Tucson, Ariz.: Our Hopes and Dreams Are Bound Together

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On Jan. 8, 2011, a gunman killed six people and gravely injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords during a meeting with her constituents. In Obama’s 34-minute address after the attack, he gave vignettes about each of the victims, saying they “represented what is best in us, what is best in America.” He also referenced the “national conversation” about “gun safety laws” and “the adequacy of our mental health system,” but offered no concrete opinions on political measures. “At a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized,” said the president, “it’s important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we’re talking with each other in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds.” Obama concluded by paying respect to one of the victims, 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green. “I want America to be as good as she imagined it,” he said. “All of us—we should do everything we can to make sure this country lives up to our children’s expectations.”