By Vic Carter

WASHINGTON (WJZ) — In our nation’s capital, thousands gather to honor the lives lost in the tragic shooting at the Washington Navy Yard.

Vic Carter reports.

It was a solemn ceremony at the Marine Barracks in Washington, D.C. Family members, joined by President Obama and other military leaders, gathering to honor the victims and offer the nation’s condolences.

“These 12 members of our Navy team, our Navy family, were killed in the line of duty,” said Vice Admiral William Hilarides, Commander, Naval Sea Systems Command.

“We cannot begin to comprehend your loss. We know that no words we offer today are equal to the magnitude, to the depths, of that loss,” said President Obama.

The memorial was held just blocks away from where Aaron Alexis, 34, opened fire. Authorities say he was a former Navy reservist and IT contractor who struggled with mental illness, yet was able to purchase a firearm.

“We can’t accept this. As Americans bound in grief and love, we must insist here today there is nothing normal about innocent men and women being gunned down where they work,” the president said.

The president and first lady met individually with all the families before the memorial service.

The victims ranged in age from 46 to 73. Eight people were also hurt, including a police officer and two others who suffered gunshot wounds.

Vic Carter