Tearful President Obama on Deadly Shooting: ‘They Had Their Entire Lives Ahead of Them’

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US President Barack Obama wipes a tear from his eye as he speaks during a previously unannounced appearance in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House on December 14, 2012 in Washington, DC. Obama spoke following the shooting in a Connecticut Elementary School which left at least 27 people dead. President Obama on Friday ordered US flags on the White House, official buildings and at military facilities to half staff to honor the victims of the school shooting rampage in Connecticut. (Credit: should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

US President Barack Obama wipes a tear from his eye as he speaks during a previously unannounced appearance in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House on December 14, 2012 in Washington, DC. Obama spoke following the shooting in a Connecticut Elementary School which left at least 27 people dead. President Obama on Friday ordered US flags on the White House, official buildings and at military facilities to half staff to honor the victims of the school shooting rampage in Connecticut. (Credit: should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — President Obama addressed the nation Friday — both as commander-in-chief and as a parent — in the wake of one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history.

“We’ve endured too many of these tragedies in recent years,” an emotional Obama said. “And each time I learn the news, I react not as a president, but as anybody else would as a parent.”

As choppers hovered at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the president looked for the words to provide any sort of strength and comfort to this small Connecticut community.

“I know there’s not a parent in America who doesn’t feel the same overwhelming grief that I do.”

With glossy eyes, Obama spoke of the “beautiful little kids” who died, mostly between five and 10 years old, and all of life’s milestones they’ve been robbed of.

“They had their entire lives ahead of them,” he said. “Birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own.”

Photos from the Scene at Sandy Hook Elementary.

As of 4 p.m. Friday, 20 children and six adults have been confirmed dead.

“Among the fallen were also teachers, men and women who devoted their lives to helping our children fulfill their dreams.”

Obama concluded his heartfelt condolences with words to embrace the nation of parents watching – one just as stunned as the next.

“Michelle and I will do what I know every parent in America will do,” Obama said. “That is hug our children a little tighter, and we’ll tell them that we love them, and we’ll remind each other how deeply we love one another.

“But there are families in Connecticut who cannot do that tonight, and they need all of us right now.”

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