On the fifth anniversary of the deadly massacre that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School, former President Barack Obama’s press secretary took to social media to remember the aftermath of the attack.
Jay Carney tweeted on Thursday about the panic that ensued at the White House on Dec. 14, 2012, after news broke about the attack, in which a shooter gunned down 20 children and six adults at the Newtown, Connecticut, elementary school.
“5 years ago today was my worst day at the White House,” he wrote. “I saw my normally stoic boss break down. I lost my composure at the briefing. As a parent, I could not comprehend the horror of #SandyHook. I think of those innocent children, and their brave teachers, all the time.”
The attack left the entire nation reeling, including President Obama, who lost his composure while addressing the shooting during a press briefing.
During his address, a solemn Obama wiped away tears as he expressed “overwhelming grief” for the victims of the shooting rampage and called on Americans to set aside politics and “take meaningful action” to prevent more tragedies of this kind.
“That was the worst day of my presidency and it’s not something that I want to see repeated,” Obama said of the attack.
Speaking at a prayer vigil at Newtown High School on Dec. 16, 2012, Obama offered condolences to the victims’ families and also called for immediate action to prevent future shootings.
“We can’t tolerate this anymore,” Obama said. “These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change. We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and that is true. No single law—no set of laws—can eliminate evil from the world, or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society. But that can’t be an excuse for inaction.”
“We can’t accept events like this as routine,” he continued. “Are we really prepared to say that we’re powerless in the face of such carnage, that the politics are too hard? Are we prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom?”
Following the 2012 address, Donald Trump tweeted in support of the president’s words, stating, “President Obama spoke for me and every American in his remarks in #Newtown Connecticut.”
With just two weeks left until the new year, 2017 has already earned the tragic distinction as the most deadly year for mass shootings in U.S. history.