Searching for grace and comfort they gather at Fort Hood Army Base in Texas.
More than 3,000 some dressed in red, white, and blue most in army green all struggling to deal with what happened here.
"It's a day for us to just honor the fallen, as fellow soldiers. One big family," said Army Captain Richard Turvey.
"When something drastic like that happens it affects everybody," said Killeen resident Vita Knox.
President Obama met with families of the fallen and some of the wounded before stepping to the podium for the first time in his young presidency as consoler-and-chief.
“Here, at Fort Hood, we pay tribute to thirteen men and women who were not able to escape the horror of war, even in the comfort of home. Their memory will be honored in the places they lived and by the people they touched. Their life's work is our security, and the freedom that we too often take for granted," said President Obama.
As this grieving community searches for answers so do investigators
examining Major Nadil Hasan's religious views and whether he may have been influenced by muslim extremists who encouraged violence against American troops.
Authorities are also asking questions about a presentation the alleged gunman made to senior officers two-years ago discussing Islam, suicide bombers and the threats posed by muslim soldiers conflicted about fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"I think there's a real examination inside the intelligence community and the army about whether any opportunity was lost to identify Hasan as a potential problem," said NBC News Terrorism Analyst Roger Cressey.
But the more immediate problem for so many here is how to deal with their overwhelming loss.