President Biden traveled to Buffalo on Tuesday to meet families of the victims of the shooting, as well as local law enforcement, first responders and community leaders. The president was joined by several New York officials, including Gov. Kathy Hochul, Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and Mayor Byron W. Brown, Buffalo’s first Black mayor. This transcript has been lightly trimmed for clarity.
Majority Leader Schumer, Senator Gillibrand and Congressman Higgins, and Gov., thank you for taking my call when I called.
And Mayor Brown, you’ve been — you’ve been wonderful. Thank you. And I know this is a lot of — when a vice-presidential or a presidential trip shows up, it’s — there’s all kinds of paraphernalia and people, and I know it’s not easy.
I want to thank your law enforcement officers for not just what they did in this crisis, but for accommodating us, and all the elected officials and law enforcement officers, first responders, and faith leaders that are here today.
Jill and I have come to stand with you and, to the families, we’ve come to grieve with you. It’s not the same, but we know a little bit what it’s like to lose a piece of your soul, whether it was a son, a daughter, a husband, a wife, a mother, a father. The feeling of having that — as I said to some of you when we talked privately, you feel like there’s a black hole in your chest you’re being sucked into, and — and you’re suffocating unable — unable to breathe.
That’s what it felt like, at least to us, and I’m sure some version of that feels that way to you, the anger, the pain, the depth of the loss that’s so profound. You know, we know it’s hard to believe, and you’re probably not going to believe it, but I can tell you now from our personal experience and many others who we’ve met, the day is going to come it will come, when your loved one brings a smile as you remember him or her. As you remember her, it’s is going to bring a smile to your lip before it brings a tear to your eye. It takes a while for that to happen. It takes a while. It might take more than a season, but our prayer for you is that that time comes sooner or later. But I promise you, it will come.
As a nation, …….