November 7th, 2009
03:37 PM ET
4 years ago

WH: President, first lady to attend Fort Hood memorial service

The flag flew at half-staff as Texas Sen. John Cornyn made remarks Friday about the shootings at Fort Hood in his state.
The flag flew at half-staff as Texas Sen. John Cornyn made remarks Friday about the shootings at Fort Hood in his state.

Fort Hood, Texas (CNN) - As investigators at Fort Hood meticulously probed Thursday's grisly massacre, a Texas surgeon said more of the wounded victims of the shootings were slowly but surely on the mend.

Flanked by Texas Gov. Rick Perry and two state representatives, W. Roy Smythe, chief of surgery at Scott & White Memorial Hospital, said "a lot of progress has been made" in treating patients wounded in the rampage and that "some of them are out of the woods."

But Smythe told reporters in a Saturday news conference there is a possibility some patients will be "physically impaired" for life. And, he said, there's "no doubt many" will be "psychologically impaired the rest of their lives."

Thursday's mass shooting left 12 soldiers and one civilian dead and 38 others wounded at the Fort Hood Army Post in Texas. Thirty-four of the injured had gunshot wounds, military officials said. The suspect in the shooting, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, a licensed Army psychiatrist, was among the two dozen who remained hospitalized Friday night.

Hasan was transported by air Friday afternoon to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, and had been listed in critical but stable condition.

The incident has sparked national outrage. In his Saturday address, President Obama said it was "an act of violence that would have been heartbreaking had it occurred anyplace in America." But the president said, "it's all the more heartbreaking and all the more despicable because of the place where it occurred and the patriots who were its victims."

The White House said President Obama and the first lady will be attending a memorial service on Tuesday and the president ordered flags flying over the White House and other federal buildings to be lowered to half-staff until Veterans Day on Wednesday.

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Filed under: Michelle Obama • President Obama
soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, NC

    It's fine Obama is going to Fort Hood–but he couldn't make time to go to Berlin?

    November 7, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  2. JT the Show Me State College Freshman

    We should honor our soldiers that lost their lives 2 days ago. They are the bravest of the bravest. The best of the best, and the penacle of courage that anyone could have. Knowing that you could lose your life everyday at any moment, and still serve with a loving heart to our nation, no amount of money could come close to being as good as that.
    We should all value life with a high concious, and not ever take life that we could lose everyday for granted. No one knows when fate could take them away. Lets live all of our lives to the fullest, and help one another by the personality of bravery that we all have. God bless the troops, President Obama and his family, and the earth.

    November 7, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  3. SAVVY OLDTIMER

    I hope the morons( Gingrich, Limbo, and friends) have the decency to apologize to the President, for jumping the gun and lambasting him for skipping the Berlin ceremony,... there are more pressing and solemn duties here at home.

    November 7, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  4. aa

    ya americans are ignorant about race and religion

    November 7, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  5. Rosalyn Casson

    As you should Mr. President. Keep making us proud.

    November 7, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  6. GGG

    God Bless our men and women of the UNITED STATES SERVICE, My heart and prayers goes out to the families . As a wife and mother of service men I would like to say THANKYOU ALL for your BRAVERY!!!

    November 7, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  7. bigTEXoil

    who cares about Berlin????????????? Mr. President you are welcomed in TEXAS.

    November 7, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  8. Janice

    Oh Henry! The ceremony for the falling of the Berlin Wall is this Monday. It's better for the Pres Obama to attend the ceremony at Ft Hood to honor the AMERICAN SOLDIERS who were murdered on AMERICAN soil.

    November 7, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  9. Retardicans, give it a rest

    The President's duty is to be at Ft. Hood.

    November 7, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  10. John Ca

    When it comes to the United States troops the dems are always late to the party to help out by being there yesterday!!! That is the left wing for you!

    November 7, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  11. bri

    God bless our men and women in uniform, our president and the united states of america home of the brave!

    November 7, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  12. Ken in NC

    Just a few months ago, the President was criticized for leaving the country and wasting jet fuel when he could have stayed home. Now he is criticized for not going overseas saying he should have gone. It's like he is not going to ever do anything right by the standards of others. The Presidents place now is at Fort Hood in Texas. For those of you that do not care for the man need to understand that he is our President and not our Butler that is here to do as each of us tells him to do. We elected him to act as our leader and until we vote him out or in 8 years have passed, he will be our President. Going to Texas is the right thing to do.

    November 7, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  13. Stone

    Personally, I think Obama should go to Germany. I'd rather see him there than here. And it wouldn't be such a bad idea if he stopped by to pick up George W. before he left.

    November 7, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  14. indiana voter

    Let's just hope he doesn't turn it into a campaign rally for health care reform, or give a shout out to some friends of his, like did the other day before talking about the tragedy at Fort Hood.

    November 7, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  15. Alfred

    President Bush immediately goes to Ft. Hood to spend "considerable time" consoling victims' families. Obama goes to the House of Representatives to push for health care. Makes sense, right? This man and his lack of respect for our military, of which I am a member, disgusts me...

    November 7, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  16. Boston Guy

    Newt left his disabled wife for another woman, Rush was caught with a whole lot of Viagra and they want to complain about the President not going to Berlin?? Let the President do his job and stop complaining. Somehow they will blame Obama for this tragic incident. People like Newt and Rush were probably the ones bullying this guy to the point he couldn't take it anymore. That's what the Republicans do best!

    November 7, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  17. annie against biased news

    GW & wife went to Fort Hood last nigh without fanfare or photo-ops. obama turned down the Berlin wall before the shooting in Fort Hood you far-left liberal loonies. God Bless our military! bo is letting our military hang out to die in Afghanistan and doesn't decide to go to Fort Hood until he hears all the criticism about him. Hasn't mentioned that the shooter was on his transition team.

    November 7, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  18. once upon a horse

    @Henry Miller, Libertarian.......

    I REALLY hope you're just being sarcastic in your comment. If NOT then you need some serious help.

    Either that are you're really a far right GOPer that finds fault in this president no matter what he does.

    November 7, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  19. They call me "tater salad"

    Yep..........And shortly thereafter some right-wing, halfwit, will step up and find something wrong with it or try to say it was just a "photo op"! You know it's coming..........Just give it a minute!!!!

    November 7, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  20. They call me "tater salad"

    SCREW BERLIN!!!!!! Last time I checked, Berlin was in Germany and Fort Hood was in America...........Whats more important right now? The goings on in Germany or America? I say AMERICA!!!!!!!!! Germany can take a "F'n"number and wait their turn!!!!!!!!! Some of you people need to get your priorities in order!!!!!!!Bunch of unpatriotic losers!!!!!!!

    November 7, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  21. Sean

    The Berlin Wall has been down for so long... let's move on. Moreover, Texas is part of our country, the President should go!

    November 7, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  22. gary davis Harbor Oregon

    the man that shot all the people ahould not be used as a religious exscuse , religion had nothing to do with the attack.. the man most likely had personal issues that made him snap .. I hope that everyone in this country and around the world do not blame anything on the muslium or any other religious group... and we will remeber the fallen and those who survive. and the woman that stopped him from killing any more people .. if this person survives he needs the harshed punishment that he can receive. and this should be made an example on watching for signs of disturbed people .. this man had issues but no one was watching ..
    may GOD and HUMANITY BLESS THE FALLEN AND THOSE WHO SURVIVED

    gary davis
    harbor oregon
    proud to be an american
    proud to beleive in our president

    November 7, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  23. USER316

    Ok for all those excusing Obama for choosing Ft. Hood over Berlin, wake up. He had already declined going to Berlin before the terrorist attack at Ft. Hood to begin with. So that argument is a non factor. Secondly, whether he wanted to go to Berlin or not, he should have already gone to Ft. Hood before the memorial service takes place. Instead today he's lobbying his healthcare, can't congress wait for a few days and the president go to Ft. Hood immediately to show his support in this attack on our military. What is more important than honoring our fallen troops in this moment. Life goes on and lawmakers can hold off and put their daily routine on hold for at least a day. The victims and their families with never have a normal day again.

    November 7, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  24. Mr Kitty

    For someone who has never served he has no business at Ft. Hood. It;'s just another photo op for him before he takes off to another fundraiser. If he wants to defend this country why is he delaying troop decisions on Afganistan? Every day that goes by our young men and women in uniform are in jeopardy becuase he plays politics. As a veteran the democratics ignore the lessons of Vietnam. Let the generals manage the war, give them what they need to win. Lead, on get the hell out of the way!

    November 7, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  25. carlos, THAT one

    please keep every repugnant away from the memorial service....they are evil....look what they are spewing about the vote in the house......criminals, rotten and putrid

    November 7, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
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