Town Heals and Remembers

Newtown Victim's Mom to Give Obama’s Weekly Address

By LeAnne Gendreau and Wire Reports
|  Friday, Apr 12, 2013  |  Updated 1:59 PM EDT
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Newtown Victims Families Ask for Action to Prevent More Violence

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Francine Wheeler, right, will deliver President Barack Obama's weekly address.

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The mother of a Newtown shooting victim will deliver the weekly presidential radio and Internet address, according to the White House.

President Barack Obama typically gives the talk and focuses on a topic that's in the news or a policy the White House is pushing and this is the first time in Obama’s administration that someone other than the president or vice president will give the address.

This week, Obama has asked Francine Wheeler, mother of 6-year-old Ben, to deliver the address instead.

Wheeler and her husband, David, lost their young son in the December schoolhouse shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

A month after the shooting, the Wheelers spoke publicly with members of Sandy Hook Promise, asking for action to prevent more violence.

“We are not done being the best possible parents we can be for Ben, not by a very long measure,” David Wheeler said at the time. “If there is something in our society that needs to be fixed, clearly healed or resolved, that resolution needs a point of origin. It needs parents.”

Then, he posed the question to parents everywhere of what it is worth to them to keep their children safe.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama believes the voices of Newtown families have been critical to progress on gun control.

When asked if this was the first time in history someone other than the President has delivered the weekly address, Carney said the only person other than President Obama to deliver the address in this administration was Vice President Joe Biden.

The families who lost loved ones during the shooting have been in Washington lobbying members of Congress.

The Senate cleared its first hurdle for gun control legislation on Thursday and will consider expanded background checks next week.

The weekly address is posted on the White House Web site.

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