President Obama visited Aurora, Colo., on Sunday, just two days after the shooting massacre he called a “tragedy that reminds us of all the ways that we are united as one American family.”
The president offered sympathy and comfort to surviving victims and mourning families Sunday afternoon at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center, one of the facilities where victims were sent after the Friday shooting, which left 12 people dead and dozens injured.
“Such violence, such evil is senseless,” Obama said Friday about the shooting. “There are going to be other days for politics; this, I think, is a day for prayer and reflection.”
Bill and Hilary Clinton in May 1999 visited Columbine High School in Jefferson County, Colo., one month after the school shooting that happened there on April 20, 1999.
The Clintons’ visit was met with loud cheers of resilience in a quasi-pep rally at Columbine. Obama’s last-minute Sunday visit was one of quiet console and healing for the shaken community that looks toward overcoming Friday’stragedy.
The town was muted, even despite early traffic leading to a memorial at the Aurora Municipal Courthouse.
At the memorial, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper applauded the efforts of emergency response teams that were pivotal in controlling the scene at the movie theater on Friday. “One Aurora police officer took six victims to the hospital,” in his personal squad car after the ambulances had been filled, Hickenlooper said at the memorial.
Hickenlooper complimented Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan on his strong leadership throughout the ordeal.
“The pain is still raw, the healing is yet to begin, but know that the City of Aurora… is with you,” Hogan said Sunday night. “That is what families do, and we are a family.”
Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and Mark Udall, Colo. state legislators, Aurora police and firefighters, as well as grievance counselors and church officials were also at Sunday’s memorial.