President Barack Obama cited scripture to speak of love even in the midst of tragedy, like what befell Fort Hood yet again last week.
“Love bears all things. Believes all things. Hopes all things. Endures all things. Love never ends,” Obama said, one week after the second mass shooting in five years ripped through the Texas base. “It is love, tested by tragedy, that brings us together again.”
Speaking at the memorial service for those who died, Obama made only passing reference to guns and mental health issues.
“In an open society, in advanced bases like this, we can never eliminate every risk, but as a nation we can do more to help counsel those with mental health issues, to keep firearms out of the hands of those who are having such deep difficulties,” Obama said. “As a military, we must continue to do everything in our power to secure our facilities and spare others this pain.”
He kept his comments primarily in tribute of those who lost their lives: Sgt. Daniel Ferguson, 39; Sgt. Carlos Lazaney-Rodriguez, 38; and Sgt. Timothy Owens, 37. Ferguson was killed while trying to keep a door closed in a room with other soldiers.
“It was love for country that inspired these three Americans to put on the uniform and join the greatest Army that the world has ever known,” Obama said.
Authorities say Spc. Ivan Lopez, an Army truck driver, killed the three soldiers at Fort Hood and wounded 16 others in an eight-minute shooting rampage that erupted from an argument. Lopez then took his own life.
Base officials said that Lopez, who did not see combat during a 2011 deployment to Iraq, was treated for depression and anxiety problems. Lopez reported said he suffered a traumatic brain injury, but Fort Hood officials said that was not a “direct participating factor” in the shooting.
“With God’s amazing grace, we somehow bear what seems unbearable,” Obama said. “Love bears all things.”