President Obama addressed the nation this afternoon following the tragic school shooting that took place this morning in Newtown, Conn. that has left at least 27 people dead.

Speaking in the White House briefing room at around 3:15 p.m. ET, a visibly emotional President Obama, who paused several times to wipe away tears, said, “We’ve endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years. Each time I learn the news I react not as a president but as anybody else would as a parent. … I know there’s not a parent in America that doesn’t feel the same overwhelming grief that I do. The majority of those who died today were children, beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10. They had their entire lives ahead of them, birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own.”

He also spoke of the future: “We’re going to have to come together to take meaningful action to prevent tragedies like this, regardless of the politics,” and ended by saying, “May God bless the memory of the victims, and in the words of scripture, Heal the broken-hearted and bind up their wounds.”

The President has ordered flags to be flown at half-staff. Watch the video below: