Addressing a nation in grief following a shooting incident at a Florida school in which 17 people were killed, US President Donald Trump today said that these children became a victim of terrible violence, hatred and evil.
An expelled former student armed with a powerful assault rifle unleashed a hail of gunfire at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, killing at least 17 people and injuring over a dozen others, in one of the deadliest mass shootings in the US.
Nikolas Cruz, 19, who was expelled for disciplinary reasons, was arrested shortly after the deadly rampage yesterday and charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.
"My fellow Americans, today I speak to a nation in grief... Yesterday, a school filled with innocent children and caring teachers became the scene of terrible violence, hatred and evil," Trump said in his address, a day after the incident.
Our entire nation, with one heavy heart, is praying for the victims and their families. To every parent, teacher and child who is hurting so badly, we are here for you, whatever you need, whatever we can do to ease your pain. We are all joined together as one American family, and your suffering is our burden also," the President said.
No child, no teacher should ever be in danger in an American school. No parent should ever have to fear for their sons and daughters when they kiss them good-bye in the morning, he said in his remarks that lasted for a little over six minutes.
Trump said the entire community of Parkland is now in shock and pain and searching for answers.
Trump said he is planning a visit to Parkland, but did not say when.
Speaking directly to America's children, especially those who feel lost, alone, confused or even scared", Trump said he wants them to know that they are never alone.
You have people who care about you, who love you and who will do anything at all to protect you. If you need help, turn to a teacher, a family member, a local police officer or a faith leader. Answer hate with love, answer cruelty with kindness, Trump said.
He said that his administration is working closely with local authorities to investigate the shooting and learn everything they can.
We are committed to working with state and local leaders to help secure our schools and tackle the difficult issue of mental health, the President said.
Later this month, Trump said he will be meeting with the nation's governors and attorney generals.
Making our schools and our children safer will be our top priority. It is not enough to simply take actions that make us feel like we are making a difference. We must actually make that difference.
In times of tragedy, the bonds that sustain us are those of family, faith, community, and country. These bonds are stronger than the forces of hatred and evil and these bonds grow even stronger in the hours of our greatest need, Trump added.