A memorial service for the victims of the Arizona massacre at the University of Arizona at Tucson.
Read the full remarks here.
5:53 p.m. MT - The arena in Tucson, AZ is filling up. When the doctors arrive, the crowd claps and cheers. People are starting to take the seats behind the stage. Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain receive cheers when their pictures flash on the scoreboard.
5:56 p.m. MT - The university has opened up the football stadium for the overflow crowd. People started lining up at about 6:30 a.m. to get into the event. Many people have brought children.
6:01 p.m. MT - President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama have arrived at the memorial service at the University of Arizona at Tucson. They receive a standing ovation from the crowd.
6:10 p.m. MT - President Obama is sitting next to intern Daniel Hernandez, who is credited with saving Giffords' life. Rep. Giffords' husband, Mark E. Kelly, is seated next to Michelle Obama.
6:25 p.m. MT – University of Arizona officials say that the 14,000-seat arena is mostly filled and 13,000 people are in an overflow area in the football stadium.
6:25 p.m. MT - People attending the service told CNN earlier why they were there:
“I think it's important because the people in Tucson are close right now. It's a close community because we're all thinking in the same spirit, about these people, But more than that, I think it's going to be a closing for all these people who need some special words from the president. I think it's going to be very soothing for everyone - It's more like a healing for everyone that needs that.”
– Liz Orosco
"I walked into a Walgreens with my 9-year-old daughter and she saw the newspaper there and the shooter's photo was there and she said ‘Mom, that's really scary.’ And I said, ‘It is,’ and she said ‘Can we go to this event? Can we go see the president?’ and I said, ‘You know, I think that that's really something’ so I took all three of my daughters out of school because over the weekend they watched the events unfold and there were a lot of emotions in my house, and I guess realizing I could bring them to this and they could have a positive ending to a very upsetting weekend.”
– Robin Fox
6:28 p.m. MT – University of Arizona President Robert Shelton introduces Daniel Hernandez, who is a UA student. Hernandez receives a long standing ovation before speaking.
Hernandez says of the tragedy to the audience: “We all became Tucsonans; we all became Arizonans, we all became Americans.”
He also says, “I must humbly reject the term hero” and calls out those he considers heroes: Giffords, her aides who were killed or injured and the doctors who worked around the clock to help treat the victims. The audience gives the doctors a standing ovation.
He closes by saying, “I must reject the title ‘hero.’”
6:29 p.m. MT - Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer takes the stage. "We will remember how to smile again," Brewer says. "We will go forward together."
6:36 p.m. MT - Secretary of Homeland Security and former Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano reads from the book of Isaiah.
6:40 p.m. MT - Attorney General Eric Holder reads from the Second Letter of Paul to the Corinthians.
6:45 p.m. MT – President Obama takes the stage: "I have come here tonight as an American who, like all Americans, kneels to pray with you today, and will stand by you tomorrow."
6:46 p.m. MT - Obama is trying to keep the tone somber and serious against the cheers from the crowd.
6:54 p.m. MT – Obama eulogizes the six victims of Saturday's shootings.
6:55 p.m. MT - President Obama says after he visited Rep. Giffords, she opened her eyes for the first time since arriving in the hospital. A teary-eyed Michelle Obama holds Mark Kelly's hand and then hugs him.
7:00 p.m. MT - President Obama expresses his gratitude for those that saved others- those who tackled the gunman, "wrestled away the killer's ammunition" and "worked wonders to heal those who'd been hurt."
7:05 p.m. MT – President Obama: "Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let us use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy, and remind ourselves of all the ways that our hopes and dreams are bound together."
7:11 p.m. MT - President Obama: "If this tragedy prompts reflection and debate, as it should, let’s make sure it’s worthy of those we have lost. Let’s make sure it’s not on the usual plane of politics and point scoring and pettiness that drifts away with the next news cycle."
7:12 p.m. MT - President Obama: "And if, as has been discussed in recent days, their deaths help usher in more civility in our public discourse, let’s remember that it is not because a simple lack of civility caused this tragedy, it did not, but rather because only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to the challenges of our nation, in a way that would make them proud."
7:16 p.m. MT - The crowd rises to their feet when President Obama speaks of Christina Taylor Green, one of the victims. "I want us to live up to her expectations. I want our democracy to be as good as Christina imagined it. I want America to be as good as she imagined it. All of us – we should do everything we can to make sure this country lives up to our children’s expectations," Obama says. She was nine years old, born on September 11, 2001.
7:21 p.m. MT - Those in the memorial service observe a moment of silence followed by a performance of Aaron Copland's "Simple Gifts" performed by The Arizona Choir and the University of Arizona Symphony Orchestra.
(CNN) – President Barack Obama sought Wednesday night to console those touched by Saturday's Arizona shooting while warning the nation against trying to politicize the tragedy, speaking at a memorial event in Tucson.
"There is nothing I can say that will fill the sudden hole torn in your hearts," Obama said. "But know this: The hopes of a nation are here tonight."FULL STORY
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware (CNN) - Nearly 30 years after he was shot in the head during the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan, former White House Press Secretary Jim Brady knows what U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is going through.
"Been there. Know that," Jim Brady said. "Sounds like she's got a great support group that's right there with her and that means a lot," he said.
(CNN) - President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle visited Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and other survivors of last weekend's Arizona shooting at a Tucson medical center on Wednesday afternoon, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said.
(CNN) - Colorado Democratic Sen. Mark Udall released a letter Wednesday proposing that members of both political parties sit next to each other at this year's State of the Union address instead of the normal seating which is divided along party lines.
"As the nation watches, Democrats and Republicans should reflect the interspersed character of America itself," Udall wrote. "Perhaps, by sitting with each other for one night, we will begin to rekindle that common spark that brought us here from 50 different states and widely diverging backgrounds to serve the public good."
Washington (CNN) - Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour braved some frigid weather Wednesday to appear at South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley's historic inauguration, but he also managed to take care of some political business on the side as he prepares for a possible presidential bid in 2012.
After Haley's swearing-in, Barbour convened something of a meet-and-greet with a handful of Republican legislators at the Palmetto Club in downtown Columbia, multiple GOP sources informed CNN.
Washington (CNN) – Top law enforcement officials on Capitol Hill told House members Wednesday they are reviewing security measures but are not recommending any major changes to how they protect members in Washington or in their districts around the country.
During closed door briefings, the House's top security official, Sergeant at Arms Bill Livingood, repeated directives he made on a bipartisan conference call Sunday night after Saturday's shooting of Arizona Democrat Rep. Gabby Giffords in Tucson, members and aides said afterwards.
Washington (CNN) - The Republican congressman who gained notoriety for shouting "You Lie" at President Obama is happy that a gun seller has stopped selling a part for a semi-automatic rifle that was engraved with his infamous words.
This comes amid the debate over whether provocative political rhetoric inflames violence. The issue is getting fresh scrutiny in the aftermath of the deadly Arizona shootings that left six dead and 13 wounded, including Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
Washington (CNN) - Fresh off his eighth trip to New Hampshire as a likely presidential contender, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is adding a few South Carolina stops to his itinerary.
An aide to Santorum told CNN that the dark horse candidate will keynote the Aiken County GOP lunch next Monday.
Washington (CNN) - Congress has responded to the Saturday shootings of 19 people, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, with a "collective embrace" rather than a "torrent of accusations," House Speaker John Boehner said at a bipartisan congressional prayer service Wednesday.
"Our nation mourns for the victims. It yearns for peace. And it thirsts for answers," the Ohio representative said in his welcome statement at the service, according to a transcript of his remarks. The service, held for members of Congress, their spouses and some staffers, was not open to the public.FULL STORY