WASHINGTON (AP) — At the U.S. Navy Memorial, in church and on the baseball field, the nation's capital paused Tuesday to mourn the 12 people killed in a shooting rampage at one of the oldest military installations.
After yet another mass shooting — this time at Washington Navy Yard — some said such violence has become commonplace and grappled with how society should change. Others reflected in silence.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and military officials held a solemn tribute at the U.S. Navy Memorial on Washington's Pennsylvania Avenue. Hagel was joined by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Martin Dempsey in laying a wreath at the memorial's "Lone Sailor" statue. A service member played "Taps," and military officials saluted.
Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the archbishop of Washington, celebrated a special Mass of healing and consolation at St. Matthew's Cathedral downtown.
"Every human life is a great and beautiful gift. That's why we were told it's not ours to take," Wuerl told a crowd of more than 100 who gathered at noon.
The sudden and unexpected deaths at a massive military office building are a reminder "to all of us that we know not the day, nor the hour of death's visitation," he said.
Wuerl prayed first for the victims and their families that they will find comfort and hope. The gunman also was killed.
The killings touched much closer to home, Wuerl said, and such violence is recognition that "something is wrong."
"We pray also for a greater healing, a healing that touches what is wounded and broken in our world," he said. "Only love can conquer violence ... Love alone can bring consolation and healing on a level of magnitude that we as a people, as world, as a nation ... so much need."