President Barack Obama left a NATO meeting early this weekend to be in Dallas on July 12 to lead an interfaith memorial service at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in honor of the five police officers killed by a sniper on July 7.
The suspect was identified as Micah Johnson. Police said they used a bomb-carrying robot to kill Johnson after several hours of negotiations. The victims were Brent Thompson, Patrick Zamarripa, Michael Krol, Lorne Ahrens and Michael Smith.
“I’m here to say we must reject such despair,” Obama said when talking about the racial divide in the U.S. “I’m here to insist that we are not as divided as we seem. I know that because I know America. I know how far we’ve come against impossible odds. I know we’ll make it because of what I’ve experienced in my own life, what I’ve seen of this country and its people as President. And I know it because of what we’ve seen here in Dallas – how all of you, out of great suffering, have shown us the meaning of perseverance, and character, and hope.”
Later on, Obama said that people can learn to change. “As we get older, we learn we don’t always have control of things – not even a President does. But we do have control over how we respond to the world. We do have control over how we treat one another,” Obama said.
Obama will not be the only president speaking at the service. Former President George W. Bush attended as well. First Lady Michelle Obama, former First Lady Laura Bush and Vice President Joe Biden attend.
“There is no possible justification for these kinds of attacks or any violence against law enforcement,” Obama said on Friday. “The FBI is already in touch with the Dallas police, and anyone involved in these senseless murders will be held fully accountable. Justice will be done.”