WASHINGTON (AP) - The mother of a 6-year-old boy killed in the Connecticut school shooting used the opportunity to fill in for President Barack Obama during the weekly radio and Internet address to make a personal plea from the White House for action to combat gun violence.
"Thousands of other families across the United States are also drowning in our grief," said Francine Wheeler, choking back tears in the address broadcast today. "Please help us do something before our tragedy becomes your tragedy."
Ben Wheeler was among the 20 first-graders and six adults killed in the Dec. 14 attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.
Francine Wheeler was the first person to deliver the address other than Obama or Vice President Joe Biden since the two took office in 2009.
Her husband, David Wheeler, sat silently next to her as she made the recording in the White House Library. Both wore the small green pins that have become a symbol of the shooting.