President Obama to speak at service for Navy Yard victims

1:14 PM, Sep 22, 2013   |    comments
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Mourners leave a funeral service for Navy Yard shooting victim Martin Bodrog at the Immanuel Bible Church in Springfield, Va. on Sept. 21. (Photo: Cliff Owen, AP)

(USA Today) -- President Obama will deliver remarks Sunday at a memorial service for the victims of Monday's shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard.

Obama also is scheduled to visit with families of the victims.

These families "now know the same unspeakable grief of families in Newtown, and Aurora, and Tucson, and Chicago, and New Orleans, and all across the country, people whose loved ones were torn from them without headlines sometimes, or public outcry." Obama said Saturday night in encouraging supporters to push gun control legislation that stalled in Congress this year.

Sunday's service, at Marine Barracks Washington near the site of the shooting, is closed to the public. Barracks spokesman Capt. Jack Norton said about 4,000 people have been invited to attend.

Authorities say Navy contractor Aaron Alexis, 34, arrived at work Monday morning, passed through security, assembled a shotgun in a men's room and began a shooting spree that left 12 people dead before he was fatally shot.

The Navy Yard reopened Thursday -- except for Building 197, where the tragedy took place.

This year alone, Obama has spoken at memorials for victims of a fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, that left 15 people dead, the Boston Marathon bombing that killed three, and the Oklahoma tornado in May that killed 25 people and destroyed much of the town of Moore.

Contributing: Associated Press

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