President Barack Obama was on hand for today’s memorial honoring the victims of last week’s massacre at Fort Hood, Texas.
The country is still mourning the loss of 13 service members killed in Thursday’s shooting spree by Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan. The Associated Press reports that he has woken up from his coma, and he is coherent.
As he was just regaining conciousness, others congregated to remember those who would never see another day at a memorial service in Fort Hood, Texas. The president and First Lady Michelle Obama privately met with the families of the victims this afternoon before the memorial service began.
“For those families who have lost a loved one, no words can fill the void that has been left. We knew these men and women as soldiers and caregivers,” the president said in condolence to those gathered at the memorial. “This is a time of war. And yet these Americans did not die on a foreign field of battle. They were killed here, on American soil, in the heart of this great American community. It is this fact that makes the tragedy even more painful and even more incomprehensible.”
President Obama continued on to recite the names of each soldier who had been gunned down Thursday after noon at Fort Hood’s Soldier Readiness Center. He also shared a small piece of each victim’s personal history.
Slain soldiers varied in rank from first class privates all the way up to Captains, and each of them was dedicated to their work in the military.
Perhaps most heart-breaking was the story of Private Franchesja Velez who was pregnant with her very at the time of her death.
Another soldier, Chief Warrant Officer Michael Cahillm had been working in the SRC when Nidal opened fire. The president revealed that he had only been back to work a few weeks after suffering a heart attack before the attack.
After the service the first couple went to spend time with soldiers injured in last week’s shootings that were still in the hospital.
– Sonya Eskridge