News / USA

Obama Eulogizes Fort Hood Victims

President Barack Obama speaks during a memorial ceremony at Fort Hood, Texas, for those killed there in a shooting last week, April 9, 2014.
President Barack Obama speaks during a memorial ceremony at Fort Hood, Texas, for those killed there in a shooting last week, April 9, 2014.
Greg Flakus
U.S. President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, attended a memorial at the Fort Hood army base in central Texas to honor the three soldiers killed one week ago in a shooting rampage that ended when the gunman, also a soldier, killed himself.  

Standing before a crowd that included family members, friends and colleagues of the people who died or suffered wounds one week ago, President Obama said last week's shooting tears at wounds yet to heal from the 2009 attack carried out by Major Nidal Hasan at Fort Hood, in which 13 people were killed.  Hasan was sentenced to death last year.

Speaking on the same field where the 2009 memorial was held, President Obama told mourning family members that no words would be sufficient to end their grief.

"We are here on behalf of the American people to honor your loved ones and to offer whatever comfort we can, but know this, we also draw strength from you, for even in your grief, even as your heart breaks, we see in you that eternal truth - love never ends," said President Obama.

President Obama focused mainly on the three men who were shot and killed in the rampage last week - Staff Sergeant Carlos Rodriguez, Sergeant Timothy Owens and Sergeant First Class Danny Ferguson. They died when U.S. Army Specialist Ivan Lopez moved around in a two-city-block size area firing a .45 caliber semiautomatic pistol at fellow soldiers.  When confronted by a police officer, Lopez shot himself in the head.  Investigators say an argument over the denial of a leave request preceded the shooting, but that Lopez was taking medication for a number of mental problems.

Referring to the mental health issue, the president included Lopez as one of the victims, and included the Lopez family among the loved ones now suffering.  He said more needs to be done for the mentally ill and that those needing help should not be afraid to seek it.

"As commander-in-chief, I am determined that we will continue to step up our effort to reach our troops and veterans who are hurting and to deliver to them the care that they need and to make sure we never stigmatize those who have the courage to seek help," said Obama.

Investigators say they still have no idea why the 34-year-old Lopez carried out the shooting.  Although there was an argument that seems to have escalated into violence, it is also known that Lopez purchased the weapon at an off-base gun store and brought it onto the base without properly registering it, in violation of army regulations.  They say he also took actions earlier that day that could indicate preparation for some kind of catastrophic event.  Around 150 military police, FBI agents, Texas rangers and other law enforcement personnel are involved in the investigation, trying to learn more about why this tragedy occurred.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs