President Joe Biden addressed the crowd at the annual National Vigil for All Victims of Gun Violence, in Washington, D.C., asking God for the strength to “finish the work” on gun law reform in the United States.
The vigil, which marked its 10th anniversary, began in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in 2012, which killed 28 people and injured two others. Biden is the first president to attend the remembrance, according to WUSA reporter Casey Nolen.
“We’ve seen you turn pain into purpose,” the president said in his speech at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. “Together, we’ve made some important progress. The most significant gun law passed in 30 years, but still not enough.”
“We did it with the help of the very people in here, led by [House] Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi … and many others,” Biden said. “And we did and guess what? It worked … And you know, we can do it again.”
The president ended his speech with a moment of silence to remember victims of gun violence and a plea to supporters to keep pushing for gun law reform.
“We ask God to give us the strength to finish the work left undone,” Biden said. “On behalf of the lives we’ve lost and all the lives we can save.”
Pelosi took the stage to discuss the Democratic-led House’s efforts, such as re-banning assault rifles, requiring background checks, outlawing untraceable ghost guns and banning the sale of high-capacity magazines.
“When we tell them we are sorry for their loss, we must act upon that,” Pelosi said about comforting gun violence survivors. “Now, I see a shirt that says, ‘Just do it.’ And that’s good guidance.”
This is a developing story and will be updated as information becomes available.
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