My fellow Americans,
On Wednesday, I traveled to Las Vegas to visit with the victims of the horrific shooting, speak with their families, and thank the brave citizens, first responders, and medical personnel who saved so many lives.
We struggle to grasp the evil that occurred on Sunday evening when a murderer shot into a crowd of more than 20,000 people. Men, women, and children were gathered to enjoy a concert. They never imagined it would become the worst day of their lives.
But in the wake of such shock and horror, it was a matter of seconds before the goodness of the human spirit broke through. When the shooting began, a mother laid on top of her daughter to shield her from gunfire. A husband died to protect his beloved wife. Strangers rescued strangers, police officers and first responders rushed into danger.
When the worst of humanity strikes, the best of humanity responds.
The men and women who risked their lives to save their fellow citizens give proof to the words of this Scripture: The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” Americans defied death and hatred with love and courage.
This week our nation remembers all the wonderful people we have lost and all of the grace they brought into our lives and our communities. Among the fallen were young students full of limitless potential, law enforcement personnel, a nurse, teachers dedicated to our children’s future, and many others. They were mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers. They were husbands and wives, and sons and daughters. They will be dearly missed, and they will never be forgotten.
To all those who lost a loved one, we cannot imagine your pain, or erase your sorrow. Our hearts grieve for you. We stand with you now, and every day after. And we pray that God may carry you through the anguish and sorrow.
We can never fill the void of those who perished, but we pledge to honor them by living as they would have wished with lives full of purpose, with hearts full of love, and with hope for a better tomorrow.
May God comfort the broken-hearted. And may God bless the United States of America. Thank you.