The festivities that typically come with the national Christmas tree lighting ceremony were underlined by a somber message from President Obama, who remembered the 14 San Bernardino victims from Wednesday's deadly shooting. Officials in the California city about an hour east of Los Angeles are continuing to make sense of what might have motivated married couple Syed Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 27, to open fire at a staff holiday party and kill 14 people and injure another 21. With the holiday season in full force, Obama's gesture was both heartfelt and sobering.
This is the third time in less than 48 hours that Obama has spoken on San Bernardino, first when he was informed of the shooting during an already scheduled interview with CBS News and then on Thursday, in a statement made from the Oval Office. But with the glittering lights of a gargantuan Alaska Christmas tree behind him, Obama's most recent statements on San Bernardino felt different. Perhaps because it was a reminder that this holiday season, 14 families will be without a loved one. Or perhaps it was because of his reminder that all Americans really are in this together.
Now, this is, of course, the most wonderful time of the year. But we would be remiss not to take a moment to remember our fellow Americans whose hearts are heavy tonight — who grieve for loved ones, especially in San Bernardino, California.
Their loss is our loss, too, for we’re all one American family. We look out for each other in good times, and in bad. And they should know that all of us care about them this holiday season.
They're in our thoughts. They're in our prayers. And we send them our love.
In this season of giving, consider helping families of victims in any way you can.