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              FILE - In this July 9, 2013, file photo House Speaker, Republican John Boehner of Ohio, pauses during a meeting with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. Congressional Republicans and Democrats are pressing President Barack Obama to explain why the U.S. military should attack Syria and involve Americans in a deadly civil conflict that has roiled the Mideast. Boehner, wrote the president on Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, in seeking answers as the drumbeat of war grew louder. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Boehner, Pelosi offer prayers; flags fly at half-staff following Navy Yard shooting

Photo of Caroline May
Caroline May
Political Reporter

In a bipartisan showing of consolation, Speaker of the House John Boehner and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi issued statements of support for the families of Monday’s Navy Yard shooting victims.

“This has been a dark day, and we know more of them lie ahead for the families of the victims.  Hoping that they find comfort – and answers – is at the top of our minds,” Boehner said, adding that thanks are in order for first responders, law enforcement and Capitol Police.

On Monday, 13 people were killed — including the suspect, identified as 34-year old Aaron Alexis — and others wounded in a mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard.

“These events strike a particularly personal chord for all of us on Capitol Hill,” Boehner continued. “Every day, a special breed of men and women go to work at the Navy Yard, and they do so just blocks from our capitol. These are our neighbors and our defenders.”

Boehner further called on House members, officers and staff think keep those at the Navy Yard in their hearts, adding that he prays their service and sacrifice will never be forgotten.

“Our prayers rest with the families and loved ones of those killed at the Washington Navy Yard today,” Pelosi said. “Our thoughts remain with the injured and all those now recovering from this unspeakable tragedy.”

“Every day, the men and women of our Navy and across our Armed Forces lay their lives on the line on distant shores; they should not be forced to confront the horrors of gun violence here at home,” she added. “Members of Congress always stand with the members of our military.”

Monday afternoon, President Barack Obama ordered all flags on public buildings, land and military posts be flown at half staff until sunset on Friday.

Obama spoke about the shooting Monday before delivering comments about the five-year anniversary of the financial crisis.

“These are men and women who were going to work, doing their job, protecting all of us,” Obama said. “They’re patriots, and they know the dangers of serving abroad — but today, they faced unimaginable violence that they wouldn’t have expected here at home.”

The White House further announced Monday afternoon that it has postponed “Música Latina” — a concert at the White House celebrating Latin American music that was scheduled to take place Monday evening, “[i]n light of today’s tragic events at the Washington Navy Yard and out of respect for the victims and their families.”

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