By Justin Sink
Martin's parents went on to say that they were touched by the president saying he empathized with their son.
"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."
In his remarks, the president said that "35 years ago" he could have encountered a situation similar to the one that ended in the deadly confrontation.
“And when you think about why, in the African-American community at least, there’s a lot of pain around what happened here, I think it’s important to recognize that the African-American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that doesn’t go away," Obama said.
The president went on to encourage Americans to examine whether they were "wringing as much bias out" as they could, calling it "an appropriate exercise in the wake of this tragedy." He also called for an examination of "stand your ground" self-defense laws and discussed investing in the future of African-American youth.
"Trayvon’s life was cut short, but we hope that his legacy will make our communities a better place for generations to come," Martin's parents said. "We applaud the president’s call to action to bring communities together to encourage an open and difficult dialogue."
The president addressed the Martin family directly in his remarks, extending his and the first lady's thoughts and prayers.
He also said he wanted to "remark on the incredible grace and dignity with which they've dealt with the entire situation."
"I can only imagine what they're going through, and it's remarkable how they've handled it," Obama said.