President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will be in Tucson on Wednesday to attend a memorial service for the victims of the shooting that left Representative Gabrielle Giffords critically wounded. Six people, including United States District Judge John M. Roll, Gabriel Zimmerman, Giffords’ director of community outreach, and 9-year-old Christina Taylor Gree, died in the attacks last Saturday, and 11 others were wounded.
On Monday, the President, the First Lady, and some 300 White House staffers observed a moment of silence on the White House South Lawn while a bell tolled three times. In mourning the victims of the shooting on Monday, the President steered ‘clear of a debate on whether harsh political rhetoric inspired the attack on a congresswoman” and said:
“Right now the main thing we’re doing is to offer our thoughts and prayers to those who’ve been impacted, making sure that we’re joining together and pulling together as a country.” (Reuters)
The President also told reporters to focus on the “extraordinary courage” of those who were at the scene of the shootings, including the two men who wrestled down Jared Lee Loeghner and the woman who, though wounded, grabbed a second magazine he was trying to load into the gun. President Obama said that people like them are
“Part of what I think that speaks to is the best of America, even in the face of such mindless violence.”
The President will speak at a memorial event at the University of Arizona, Together We Thrive: Tucson and America, ‘to support and remember victims of the mass shooting in Tucson, and to lift the spirits of those who have been personally affected by this tragedy.’ The event is free and open to the campus and greater Tucson community.