Pence On Disasters And Vegas Massacre: ‘We’ll Emerge Stronger From All This’

Posted on Fri 10/06/2017 by


By Fred Lucas ~

Vice President Mike Pence spoke Thursday about his faith in God and the goodness and perseverance of Americans as they face trials in natural disasters and senseless acts of violence.

Commenting on the massacre at an outdoor country music festival in Las Vegas, Pence noted during a radio appearance that what occurred not long before the shooting started was deeply moving: Just ahead of singer Jason Aldean’s performance, the entire audience sang “God Bless America.”

In the shadow of the space shuttle Discovery, Vice President Mike Pence delivers remarks Thursday before convening the first meeting of the National Space Council at the National Air and Space Museum in Chantilly, Virginia. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters/Newscom)

“I think the last time I remember being that moved … was when I stood on the steps of the United States Capitol on Sept. 11 of 2001, and that same song broke out,” said Pence, who was then a member of the House of Representatives. “It was so moving for me to hear that crowd [in Las Vegas] had joined in nearly unanimous chorus that very night. Knowing that, being confident of that, God has blessed this country.”

The vice president spoke during a Thursday morning interview on “The Highway,” a talk radio show about country music. The show’s host is Storme Warren, who attended the three-day Route 91 Harvest festival and witnessed the carnage firsthand Sunday night.

Pence also talked about hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico, where he traveled later Thursday to visit those affected, as well as first responders and political leaders.

“No natural disaster, no act of violence, will ever diminish the strength and goodness of the American people,” Pence said, adding: “We’ll emerge stronger from all of this, Storme, because that’s what we always do.”

Aldean, who canceled shows scheduled this weekend, tweeted Tuesday:

Law enforcement officials said Stephen Paddock, 64, opened fire on the audience from two windows of a 32nd-floor suite of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, killing nearly 60 in the concert audience and wounding or injuring more than 520 others.

Paddock’s weapons included an improvised semi-automatic rifle that he turned into an automatic rifle, authorities said. He had an arsenal of more than a dozen guns with him, and used one to kill himself as police broke into the hotel suite.

Pence talked about accounts of heroics such as an Army veteran with two tours in Iraq behind him—who didn’t attend the concert but rushed to the scene after a call from his girlfriend and carried several victims away. The vice president also quoted Psalm 34:18:

I can’t help but think of that other Bible verse, that the Lord is close to the broken-hearted. I hope all of your listeners will remember to avail themselves of maybe just that prayer for the families that we lost that night. We will press on. We’ll persevere. I can assure you that President Trump and I have an unshakable faith in the American people, and faith in God sustains us in these times.

Pence, also the former governor of Indiana, told listeners that he was a country music fan, and his iTunes playlists include Alan Jackson, Toby Keith, and Aldean. He said he is particularly a fan of Aldean’s song “Fly Over States.”

“I literally got a lump in my throat the first time I heard Jason Aldean sing, ‘Have you ever been to Indiana,’ and I know the character of the people who cherish country music. I sense it,” Pence said. “I share their values, their sense of community, and I know we’ll come through this stronger than ever before.”

Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal at  The Heritage Foundation .

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