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May 16, 2022

Obama appeals for calm in Tucson

In between consoling those touched by Saturday’s Arizona shooting and warning the nation against politicizing the tragedy, President Barack Obama delivered some good news in his address at a Tucson memorial event on Wednesday, CNN reported. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona has opened her eyes for the first time since being shot four days ago. “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.” The attack killed six and left Giffords fighting for her life. Obama told a crowd of thousands that he visited Giffords earlier on Wednesday and that her husband told him that shortly after the president left her room, “Gabby opened her eyes for the first time.” Obama and his wife, Michelle, sat next to Giffords’ husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, throughout the ceremony, and next to Daniel Hernandez, an intern in Giffords’ office who tended to the congresswoman’s wounds after she was shot. Obama called Hernandez a hero in his speech Wednesday, though Hernandez rejected that description in an earlier speech at the memorial event. The president spoke at the University of Arizona’s McKale Memorial Center, which the school said held just under 14,000 people on Wednesday night, with an overflow crowd of 13,000 outside.

Obama spoke about Giffords and briefly eulogized each of those killed in the attack before moving on to warn Americans against assigning blame for the attacks to those other than the gunman.

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