White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders spoke with emotion of the people who “displayed the ultimate act of love” and sacrificed their lives for loved ones during the Las Vegas mass shooting.
Speaking on Monday following the Sunday night attack, which left at least 58 people dead and over 500 injured, Huckabee Sanders said the people who died would be remembered by the U.S. “as a nation.”
“What those people did for each other says far more about Americans than the cowardly acts of a killer ever could,” she told reporters, according to The Hill. “The Gospel of John says there’s no greater love to display than love to lay down one’s life for a friend.”
She added, with emotion in her voice, “The memory of those who displayed the ultimate act of love in the midst of an unimaginable act of hate will never fade.”
Following what was the deadliest shooting in recent U.S. history, a number of stories emerged of parents who had shielded their children from the hail of bullets, and friends and partners who lost their lives protecting loved ones from the shooter.
The wife of one of the victims, Sonny Melton of Tennessee, has spoken of her husband’s sacrifice as the attack took place. “At this point, I’m in complete disbelief and despair,” Heather Gulish Melton told Fox News’s WZTV.
“I don’t know what to say. Sonny was the most kindhearted, loving man I have ever met. He saved my life and lost his,” she added.
Concertgoers have also spoken of the relentless gunfire as Stephen Paddock, 64, shot at the 22,000-strong crowd from a room at the Mandalay Bay casino on the Las Vegas Strip. One father who survived the attack described throwing himself on top of his children as the gunfire broke out.
“Their examples will serve as an eternal reminder that the American spirit cannot and will not ever be broken,” Huckabee Sanders said at the press briefing.
“In the days ahead, we will grieve as a nation. We will honor the memory of those lost as a nation, and we will come together united as one nation, under God and indivisible,” she added.