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An emotional Obama: 'They had their entire lives ahead of them'

Mandel Ngan / AFP - Getty Images

President Barack Obama wipes his eye as he speaks during a previously unannounced appearance in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House on Dec. 4, 2012

An emotional President Barack Obama led the nation in mourning the victims of an elementary school massacre on Friday, speaking from the White House following the shooting in Newtown, Conn.

The president not only pledged to assist investigations into the shooting, but also became openly emotional upon reflecting upon the many school children killed or injured in today's mass shooting.

"The majority of those who died today were children -- beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10-years-old," he said, pausing to wipe away a tear. "They had their entire lives ahead of them -- birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own."

Watch President Barack Obama speak about the Newtown shooting from the White House on Dec. 14, 2012.

"Our hearts are broken today, for the parents, grandparents, sisters and brothers of these little children," Obama added, "as well as the families of the adults who were lost."

The president said that he has become all too familiar with making statements of grief following mass shooting incidents, referencing recent events at a mall this week in Oregon, at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin in August, and at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., in August.

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Those events -- along with a January 2011 attack in Arizona that severely injured then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and left six others dead -- have done little to provoke political action to rein in gun violence.

"As a country, we have been through this too many times," he said.

In his remarks Friday, the president suggested that the time might have come for some sort of work to prevent similar tragedies.

"We're going to have to come together to take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics," he said.

Michelle Mcloughlin / Reuters

The second deadliest school shooting in U.S. history sent crying children spilling into the school parking lot as frightened parents waited for word on their loved ones.

In the meanwhile, the president said he was in contact with Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy and other government officials to provide them with adequate resources. Obama also ordered that flags be flown at half-staff through sunset on Dec. 18.

"While nothing can fill the space of a lost loved one or a child, all of us can extend a hand to those in need," reminded the president.