President to attend interfaith vigil in Newtown tonight

President Barack Obama is traveling to Connecticut today, Sunday, Dec. 16, to attend an interfaith vigil for the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, where 26 people, including 20 children, were killed Friday.

Mr. Obama is scheduled to meet with the families of the victims this afternoon, and then attend the vigil later tonight.

Weston plans to join with Westport at 4 p.m. this afternoon in an interfaith vigil at Veteran’s Green across from the Westport Town Hall. The vigil will move into the auditorium at the town hall in the event of bad weather.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy offered his thoughts at a press conference Saturday:

“All of Connecticut’s people – indeed the people of the world – weep for the immeasurable losses suffered by the families and loved ones of these victims.

“Though we could all try, when something as senseless as this occurs, there’s precious little anyone can say to the families of the victims that will lessen the horror and sense of loss they feel. We could say we feel their pain, but the truth is we can’t.

“When tragedies like this occur, people often look for answers, an explanation of how this could have occurred. But the sad truth is, there are no answers. No good ones, anyway.

We have all seen tragedies like this play out in other states and countries. Each time, we wondered how something so horrific could occur, and we thanked God that it didn’t happen here in Connecticut. But now it has.

“So what can we do? As was no doubt the case last night, we can hug someone we love a little tighter. As has been happening since yesterday, we can show and share with each other the grief we feel for the children and adults who were killed, and for their families and loved ones. We can speak about what’s really important, and what can wait for another day.

“There will be time soon for a discussion of the public policy issues surrounding yesterday’s events, but what’s important right now is this: Love, courage, and compassion.

“Love, as it has poured in from around the world.

“Courage, as was demonstrated by the teachers and other adults in the school building, whose actions no doubt saved lives.

“Courage on display, as it always is, by all our first responders.

“Compassion, as shown by people around Connecticut who’ve arrived in Newtown wanting only to help.

“Too often, we focus on what divides us as people, instead of what binds us as human beings. What we saw yesterday were those bonds, that sense of community.

“In the coming days, we will rely upon that which we have been taught and that which we inherently believe: That there is faith for a reason, and that faith is God’s gift to all of us,” Mr. Malloy said.

State Senator John McKinney (R-28th), whose district includes part of Weston as well as all of Newtown, released a statement Friday after meeting with several family members of victims.

As a parent, I can barely begin to comprehend this unspeakable tragedy. I doubt I ever will,” Mr. McKinney said. “Today and in the days and weeks ahead, we need to be an extended family for all of the victims. We need to help our children and students cope, and recover, and feel safe again. We need to grieve and pray, and we need to help our neighbors through this.” 

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