Now becoming a well-known trend of his presidency, Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama privately met with the families of the victims of another deadly terror attack as they made their way to San Bernadino Friday evening [December 18, 2015].
Despite the pain and the heartache that they’re feeling, they could not have been more inspiring, Obama said in a statement he delivered at Indian Springs High School after meeting with the families.
Their visit comes right before the Obama family vacation in Hawaii. “The president felt before he could begin his holiday that it was important for him to spend some time with these Americans who are mourning,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest stated.
In addition to the families of the 14 victims killed in the deadly attack, a number of first responders were also in attendance. Another 22 people were injured in the attack, affecting a total of 36 victims in the deadliest attack on US soil since September 11, 2001.
While many have seen meetings such as these as an opportunity to question Obama’s motives, claiming that they should take place sooner after tragedy and in a more public setting, others have supported the President and are appreciative of his actions.
“I’m a strong Obama supporter, but I feel he should have been here sooner…you expect your leader to stand by you,” stated Michael Stein, 25.
However, others expressed different sentiments. Department store employee Lorraine Alcaraz showed her gratitude for Obama’s appearance, “He’s just here to support us.”
Representative Pete Aguilar had this to say about the visit: “We’re less concerned about the timetables involved and just thankful that he would come out and spend some time with the families.”
As for the President and First Lady, the experience proved to be touching despite outside criticism.
“It was so moving for Michelle and myself, in part because it was so representative of the country,” the commander-in-chief began. “You had people from every background, every faith.”