The parents of Trayvon Martin on Friday lauded President Obama for his remarks about how history plays into perceptions of what happened the night their son was killed, calling it a "beautiful tribute."
"We are deeply honored and moved that President Obama took the time to speak publicly and at length about our son, Trayvon," Martin's parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, said in a statement. "The president’s comments give us great strength at this time. We are thankful for President Obama’s and Michelle’s prayers, and we ask for your prayers as well as we continue to move forward."
Martin's parents said they were particularly moved by Obama's empathy with their son, fatally shot by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman.
"What touches people is that our son, Trayvon Benjamin Martin, could have been their son," they said. "President Obama sees himself in Trayvon and identifies with him. This is a beautiful tribute to our boy."
They urged Americans to heed Obama's call for some reflection on attitudes toward race and the role it plays in society.
"We seek a future when a child can walk down the street and not worry that others see him as dangerous because of the color of his skin or the clothes on his back," they said. "We seek a future where our children can grow up and become the people God intended them to be."
George Zimmerman's brother, Robert Zimmerman Jr., has also praised Obama for his comments.