President Obama took an unprecedented step by giving his weekly radio and Internet address to a mother of a Sandy Hook victim. In a tradition started by Franklin D. Roosevelt, the weekly address has only been given once by anyone other than the President, when Laura Bush spoke out about the Taliban’s oppression of women.
This week’s address is delivered by Francine Wheeler, whose six year old son, Ben, was murdered alongside nineteen other children and six educators in Newtown, Connecticut, four months ago. Now, Francine – joined by her husband David – is asking the American people to help prevent this type of tragedy from happening to more families like hers. Since that terrible day in December, thousands more Americans have died, and thousands more families have suffered the pain of losing a loved one to violence.
The White House released a statement today that Obama takes the address “very seriously because it offers a chance to bring focus to an issue that needs to be part of the national dialogue.”