09
Jan
11

a moment of silence

President Obama has released a statement calling on a national moment of silence tomorrow at 11 a.m., and signed a proclamation ordering flags be flown at half-staff as a mark of respect for the victims of the “senseless act of violence” committed yesterday morning.

The President’s statement:

“Tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. eastern standard time, I call on Americans to observe a moment of silence to honor the innocent victims of the senseless tragedy in Tucson, Arizona, including those still fighting for their lives. It will be a time for us to come together as a nation in prayer or reflection, keeping the victims and their families closely at heart.”

The President will observe the moment of silence with White House staff on the South Lawn.

The signed proclamation ordering flags be flown at half-staff reads:

“As a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence perpetrated on Saturday, January 8, 2011, in Tucson, Arizona, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, January 14, 2011. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this ninth day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand eleven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.

BARACK OBAMA

A portrait of Gabrielle Giffords is placed at a memorial outside the hospital where she and other victims of Saturday’s shootings are recovering in Tucson, Arizona January 9

A portrait of slain federal judge John Roll sits at a makeshift memorial on January 9, in Tucson, Arizona


6 Responses to “a moment of silence”


  1. 1 sherijr
    January 9, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    thank you Mr. President. Thank you Chipsticks.

  2. 2 Anonymous
    January 9, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    I’m so sad today for our country. When will the vitriol and violence end? While this is shocking, I can’t help but think of the many people who are killed everyday by guns, particularly minority groups. What can we do?

  3. 3 Sue in Minnesota
    January 9, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    Pray for healing, and for strength to continue to be positive and hopeful, supportive of one another, our country and our President.
    Yes We Can

    • 4 louc1
      January 9, 2011 at 5:10 pm

      Absolutely – certainly this is a time for prayer. I will especially lift up President Obama and his family in this climate of hate we live in. Lord God please help us and please heal our land! YES WE CAN !!!!

  4. January 9, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Prayers for Gabrielle Giffords! Giffords will survive! Our thoughts and prayers now!

  5. 6 A.L.Zymers
    January 9, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    Commenter, tigerfist, posted so appropriately at BWD’s site, a Youtube link to Robert Kennedy’s moving speech after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. Here is the video link

    Robert F. Kennedy speech ~ Mindless Menace of Violence

    and here is the transcript and link(for those without an ability to see the video) to this moving presentation.
    http://www.jfklibrary.org/Historical+Resources/Archives/Reference+Desk/Speeches/RFK/138RFK3SEN21SPEECHES_68APR05.htm

    I repost it here in honor of tigerfist’s sensitivity, and am sorry if it is a repeat that I have missed. I think it is in keeping with the mood of reflection and prayer that President Obama has called for. Sorry I don’t know how to format appropriately.

    Remarks of Senator Robert F. Kennedy to the Cleveland City Club, Cleveland, Ohio, April 5, 1968

    Robert F. Kennedy
    Cleveland City Club
    April 5, 1968

    This Web version of this speech was made for the convenience of readers and researchers. It was produced from a press release for the speech, which can be found in Robert F. Kennedy’s Senate Speech Files.
    =====================================================================================

    This is a time of shame and sorrow It is not a day for politics I have saved this one opportunity to speak briefly to you about this mindless menace of violence in America which again stains our land and every one of our lives.

    It is not the concern of any one race The victims of the violence are black and white, rich and poor, young and old, famous and unknown They are, most important of all, human beings whom other human beings loved and needed No one – no matter where he lives or what he does – can be certain who will suffer from some senseless act of bloodshed And yet it goes on and on.

    Why? What has violence ever accomplished? What has it ever created? No martyr’s cause has ever been stilled by his assassin’s bullet.

    No wrongs have ever been righted by riots and civil disorders A sniper is only a coward, not a hero; and an uncontrolled, uncontrollable mob is only the voice of madness, not the voice of the people.

    Whenever any American’s life is taken by another American unnecessarily – whether it is done in the name of the law or in the defiance of law, by one man or a gang, in cold blood or in passion, in an attack of violence or in response to violence – whenever we tear at the fabric of life which another man has painfully and clumsily woven for himself and his children, the whole nation is degraded.

    “Among free men,” said Abraham Lincoln, “there can be no successful appeal from the ballot to the bullet; and those who take such appeal are sure to lose their cause and pay the costs.”

    Yet we seemingly tolerate a rising level of violence that ignores our common humanity and our claims to civilization alike. We calmly accept newspaper reports of civilian slaughter in far off lands. We glorify killing on movie and television screens and call it entertainment. We make it easy for men of all shades of sanity to acquire weapons and ammunition they desire.

    Too often we honor swagger and bluster and the wielders of force; too often we excuse those who are willing to build their own lives on the shattered dreams of others. Some Americans who preach nonviolence abroad fail to practice it here at home. Some who accuse others of inciting riots have by their own conduct invited them.

    Some looks for scapegoats, others look for conspiracies, but this much is clear; violence breeds violence, repression brings retaliation, and only a cleaning of our whole society can remove this sickness from our soul.

    For there is another kind of violence, slower but just as deadly, destructive as the shot or the bomb in the night. This is the violence of institutions; indifference and inaction and slow decay. This is the violence that afflicts the poor, that poisons relations between men because their skin has different colors. This is a slow destruction of a child by hunger, and schools without books and homes without heat in the winter.

    This is the breaking of a man’s spirit by denying him the chance to stand as a father and as a man among other men. And this too afflicts us all. I have not come here to propose a set of specific remedies nor is there a single set. For a broad and adequate outline we know what must be done. When you teach a man to hate and fear his brother, when you teach that he is a lesser man because of his color or his beliefs or the policies he pursues, when you teach that those who differ from you threaten your freedom or your job or your family, then you also learn to confront others not as fellow citizens but as enemies – to be met not with cooperation but with conquest, to be subjugated and mastered.

    We learn, at the last, to look at our brothers as aliens, men with whom we share a city, but not a community, men bound to us in common dwelling, but not in common effort. We learn to share only a common fear – only a common desire to retreat from each other – only a common impulse to meet disagreement with force. For all this there are no final answers.
    Yet we know what we must do. It is to achieve true justice among our fellow citizens. The question is now what programs we should seek to enact. The question is whether we can find in our own midst and in our own hearts that leadership of human purpose that will recognize the terrible truths of our existence.

    We must admit the vanity of our false distinctions among men and learn to find our own advancement in the search for the advancement of all. We must admit in ourselves that our own children’s future cannot be built on the misfortunes of others. We must recognize that this short life can neither be ennobled or enriched by hatred or revenge.

    Our lives on this planet are too short and the work to be done too great to let this spirit flourish any longer in our land. Of course we cannot vanish it with a program, nor with a resolution.

    But we can perhaps remember – even if only for a time – that those who live with us are our brothers, that they share with us the same short movement of life, that they seek – as we do – nothing but the chance to live out their lives in purpose and happiness, winning what satisfaction and fulfillment they can.

    Surely this bond of common faith, this bond of common goal, can begin to teach us something. Surely we can learn, at least, to look at those around us as fellow men and surely we can begin to work a little harder to bind up the wounds among us and to become in our hearts brothers and countrymen once again.


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