In honor of the victims of the massacre at Tucson, at 11 am EST sharp, President and First Lady Obama walked out of the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House and stood at the top of the driveway on the South Lawn with their hands clasped and heads bowed for one minute and ten seconds.
Flags at the White House are at half staff.
Among the between 200-300 White House staffers gathered with the First Couple on the South Lawn for the moment of silence were:
· Outgoing senior adviser David Axelrod;
· New senior adviser David Plouffe;
· New National Economic Council director Gene Sperling;
· Communications director Dan Pfeiffer;
· Political director Patrick Gaspard;
· Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough; and
· Deputy press secretary Josh Earnest.
Chaplain Stanley W. Fornea, US Navy, Commander, stood next to the First Lady.
President Obama is said to be somewhat shaken by the incident, given his friendship with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz. The president spoke on Saturday to Giffords’ husband, Captain Mark Kelly, and yesterday spoke with other family members of victims, including the father of slain Giffords staffer Gabe Zimmerman, and the parents of 9-year-old Christina-Taylor Green, also killed in the attack.
*This post has been corrected.