WASHINGTON — Addressing a stunned nation, President Obama on Saturday grieved for the children and teachers who were massacred in Newtown, Conn., declaring that ‘‘every parent in America has a heart heavy with hurt.’’
Obama, addressing the tragedy for the second time since the violence erupted Friday, sympathized with the families of the dead and said he and his wife, Michelle, ‘‘are doing what I know every parent is doing — holding our children as close as we can and reminding them how much we love them.’’
Obama spoke Saturday in his weekly radio and Internet address. Republicans, who typically also give an address, ceded their time so that Obama could speak for the nation.
The carnage was carried out by a man who killed his mother at home and then massacred 26 people, including 20 children, at an elementary school in Newtown, authorities say. The shooter committed suicide at the school.
‘‘Our hearts are broken today,’’ the president said. ‘‘We grieve for the families of those we lost. And we keep in our prayers the parents of those who survived. Because as blessed as they are to have their children home, they know that their child’s innocence has been torn away far too early.’’
Obama’s remarks were similar to ones he delivered emotionally from the White House briefing room Friday afternoon.
He reiterated his appeal that, ‘‘regardless of the politics,’’ it was time for the country to join together and ‘‘take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this.’’