Moment of Silence for Arizona Shooting Victims

President Obama asks everyone across the country to take part

District residents as well as Capitol Hill lawmakers and staffers joined President Barack Obama Monday morning by participating in a moment of silence to honor the victims of this weekend’s mass shooting in Arizona.

Meanwhile, D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and others participated in a moment of silence on Capitol Hill, as hundreds of staffers filled the steps of the Capitol Building at 11 a.m.

Across the city, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray oversaw a moment of silence by District employees at the Wilson Building.

According to the Washington Post, Gray used the event to address gun control and mental health, saying that D.C. refused to relinquish gun control laws in exchange for a potential vote in Congress. He also said the tragedy in Arizona was a reminder that many places lack strong mental health services.

A White House statement said the moment of silence at 11 a.m. would allow people to come together, in prayer or reflection, and keep the victims and their families close at heart.

Obama observed the moment of silence with White House staff on the South Lawn. The president also signed a proclamation calling for flags to be flown at half-staff.

Six people were killed and 14 others were injured when a gunman opened fire at a political gathering Saturday in Tucson.


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Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffordswas shot in the head at close range and remains in intensive care.

Gray said over the weekend that he expressed "shock and dismay" after hearing of the shootings.

"This unspeakable tragedy, which occurred while public servants held a community meeting with constituents, was a gutless act of violence," Gray said in a statement. "We can never allow such a despicable act to deter us -- public servants -- from doing the people’s work. It’s not the American way.

"Now, we must pull together as a nation and as a people to pray for a full recovery for Congresswoman Giffords, her staff, their families and all who were impacted by the shooting."

For the latest on the shooting and investigation, click here.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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