A Moment Of Silence For Shooting Victims
MICHELE NORRIS, Host:
In the Arizona legislature today, the tone was more subdued. The legislature convened with an invocation delivered by Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of the Phoenix Catholic Diocese.
NORRIS: O loving God, creator and father of us all, we come before you with hearts weighed down by the terrible violence that took place in Tucson on Saturday. We grieve for Judge John Roll and for all those who have died. We stand in prayerful solidarity with their families and friends. We pray for Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and for all who were injured and for those who love and care for them.
ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:
Governor Jan Brewer had been scheduled to deliver her state of the state address and she did. But the text was new.
SIEGEL: Tragedy and terror sometime comes from the shadows and steal our joy and take away our peace. That happened on Saturday when a gunman took away people we love, innocent people, and outstanding public servants.
NORRIS: Governor Brewer is a conservative Republican who endorsed Gabrielle Giffords' opponent in the 2010 campaign. But today she called Giffords "my good friend" and prayed for her recovery.
SIEGEL: NPR's Ari Shapiro reports on a solemn day in the nation's capital.
ARI SHAPIRO: On a freezing Washington morning, a few hundred White House staffers huddled in their coats on the South Lawn. Just before 11 a.m., the president and first lady emerged wearing long overcoats. They didn't say a word. A member of the Marine band struck a long silver chime with a hammer to mark the beginning of the moment of silence.
(SOUNDBITE OF CHIME)
SHAPIRO: Today's White House meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy went ahead as planned. Mr. Obama sat next to Sarkozy in the Oval Office and said, all of us are still grieving and in shock. But he urged Americans to focus on the courage that people showed outside of that grocery store in Tucson - the citizens who wrestled the gunman to the ground and the intern who ran into the line of fire to rescue his boss.
SHAPIRO: Part of what I think that speaks to is the best of America, even in the face of such mindless violence.
SHAPIRO: The president said he has been in touch with Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and other officials about planning a memorial service in the next several days.
SHAPIRO: But I think it's going to be important, I think, for the country as a whole, as well as the people in Arizona to feel as if we are speaking directly to our sense of loss, but also speaking to our hopes for the future and how out of this tragedy we can come together as a stronger nation.
SHAPIRO: In the halls of Congress, people lined up outside of Congresswoman Giffords' office to sign a guestbook. Rachel Pfeffer(ph) from Maryland was one of them.
NORRIS: I just wrote that they're in my thoughts and prayers and wishing the congresswoman a speedy recovery. I just wanted her to know that we're all pulling for her, and not just the people at the top, but the little people, too.
SHAPIRO: Ari Shapiro, NPR News, the White House.
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