After a somber start to his vacation, President Barack Obama arrived in Hawaii on Saturday to celebrate Christmas and ring in his final year as president.
Air Force One carrying Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, and daughters Malia and Sasha landed at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in the wee hours of the first day of his annual two-week holiday getaway from Washington.
On the way to Hawaii, Obama stopped in Southern California to carry out what has become one of the grimmest rituals of his presidency: consoling the grieving relatives of victims of gun violence.
Obama and his wife spent nearly three hours late Friday hearing from the loved ones of the nine men and five women killed Dec. 2 when a married couple opened fire on the husband’s co-workers at a workplace holiday party in San Bernardino, east of Los Angeles. The FBI is investigating the shooting as an act of terrorism.
Obama said the meetings in a high school library were “so moving” because the families were so representative of the country.