July 23rd, 2012
06:38 PM ET
RENO, Nevada (CNN) - President Obama honored members of the military who were victims of last week’s movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado at a speech here on Monday.
During remarks at the annual VFW convention, the president began by paying tribute to four of the 12 shooting victims who were either serving or had served in uniform.
“Yesterday I was in Aurora, with families whose loss is hard to imagine - with the wounded, who are fighting to recover; with a community and a military base in the midst of their grief. And they told me of the loved ones they lost,” Obama told the crowd of thousands of veterans gathered at the convention.
Jesse Childress was a staff sergeant in the Air Force reserves. John Larmier served as a Petty Officer Third Class in the Navy. Rebecca Wingo served as a Chinese translator in the Air Force. And Jonathan Blunk served three Navy tours.
“These young patriots were willing to serve in faraway lands, yet they were taken from us here at home,” Obama said. “And yesterday I conveyed to their families a message on behalf of all Americans: We honor your loved ones. We salute their service. And as you summon the strength to carry on and keep bright their legacy, we stand with you as one united American family.”
On Sunday, President Obama traveled to Aurora and visited with all 12 victims’ families as well as several of the injured being treated at the ICU of the University of Colorado Hospital. He spent more than two hours with the families before making a statement to reporters, but he did not attend the public prayer vigil.
After his visit, Obama continued with his previously schedule west-coast trip, stopping first in Reno, Nevada before continuing on to the San Francisco area for fundraisers Monday night. On Tuesday he’ll hold campaign events in Portland and Seattle.