ORLANDO, United States, Jun 16 – President Barack Obama will come face to face with the heartbreaking aftermath of America’s deadliest mass shooting when he visits Orlando Thursday to comfort grieving families and thank emergency medical crews.
Obama, traveling with Vice President Joe Biden, will offer his condolences to families of 49 people killed in Sunday’s shooting at a gay nightclub in the central Florida city. Another 53 people were wounded.
The White House said Obama will also confer with emergency medical crews and hospital staff who worked feverishly to patch together broken bodies and save lives in the chaotic hours after the massacre by gunman Omar Mateen, who was shot dead when police stormed the club.
“This will be, I think, an emotional trip,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Wednesday.
Obama also wants to “make clear that the country stands with the people of Orlando, stands with the LGBT community in Orlando, as they grieve for their loss,” Earnest said.
As the city geared up to receive the president, the process of saying goodbye to the dead began.
The first wake was held Wednesday. It was for a 40-year-old man named Javier Jorge Reyes.
More wakes and funerals are expected later this week.