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Obama addresses a grieving community

Monday - 12/17/2012, 5:28am  ET

The Newtown memorial service

Steve Futterman, CBS News


Rachel Nania,

On Sunday night, President Obama addressed a crowd of grieving community members in Newtown, Conn., just three days after a mass shooting in the town's elementary school that left 20 children and six adults dead.

"All across this land of ours, we have wept with you, and you must know that whatever measure of comfort we can provide, we will provide," Obama told the crowd at Sunday's memorial service.

In his speech, the president touched on policy issues surrounding gun control by saying, "We can't tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end, and to end them we must change."

CBS correspondent Steve Futterman, who has been on the ground covering the tragedy in Newtown, said the president's remarks were very well-received.

"The people here do feel like there has to be new laws," Futterman told WTOP on Sunday after the president's address. "Obviously in a town like this that has been affected by such a tragedy, that is not a surprising reaction."

However, the most sensitive point of the president's speech came when he individually mentioned the first names of the children killed in Friday's shooting.

"That was one of the most emotional things I have ever really covered, and I've covered many things for many years," says Futterman. "If you look at the tape, (the president) composes himself just before this speech."

When reading the names of the victims, sounds of weeping could be heard from the crowd.

"When he mentioned one name, you could hear sobbing in the background," says Futterman. "He'd read another name, there'd be different sobbing that you'd hear. It was one of the most emotional things I've ever heard a president or any person discuss in a speech or deliver in a speech."

According to Futterman, the investigation into the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting continues, but officials are remaining tight-lipped until they are positive of all the facts.

"They're essentially telling us, ‘We're not going to tell you a thing until we have a final determination,'" says Futterman. "Obviously, motive is the key issue in all of this."

CBS News is reporting that investigators recovered smashed computers at the home of the suspect, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, and plan to have the computers examined by forensic experts.

The first funeral for the victims will take place on Monday, Dec. 17, and the funerals will continue throughout the week.

"It's going to be another very difficult week here," says Futterman.

All schools in Newtown, with the exception of Sandy Hook Elementary, will open on Tuesday, Dec. 18. Students from Sandy Hook will attend a different school at an alternate location, starting on Wednesday.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)