President Obama honored the victims of the April 17 explosion at a West, Texas fertilizer factory Thursday. The blast claimed the lives of 14 — most of them first responders — and wounded more than 200.
The president assured those gathered for a memorial Thursday that the nation was thinking of them, despite the turmoil surrounding the Boston bombings. “We may not live in Texas but we are neighbors, too,” he said. “We’re Americans, too. We stand with you and we do not forget.”
He went on to described how the town’s volunteers rushed to the scene of the explosion only to be claimed by a second explosion that “changed West forever.”
This speech was notably not political. The president offered a message from former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura. And he did not veer into the issues of workplace safety that surround the tragedy, as he did when memorializing the 29 coal miners who died in the Upper Branch coal mine in 2010.