U.S. president Barack Obama delivered a speech Wednesday night at the University of Arizona, at a ceremony in memory of victims of the Tucson massacre.
Obama emphasized the unity of the Americans, while the U.S. appears increasingly divided between the rhetoric of the right and left.
Barack Obama has also called for a “more civil and honest ” political speech in the wake of the killing. He was careful to warn the Americans against the temptation to look for “simple explanation” for what happened.
According to him, we cannot know for sure what drove the killer to commit the act, as no one knows what would have prevented it.
“It’s important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds, “ Obama said.
“Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let’s 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,” he told the people who came to listen to his speech.
Barack Obama also paid tribute to the six people who died, talking about each of them with respect, admiration and sometimes humor. “Our hearts are broken by their sudden departure,” he said.
Barack Obama spoke at length about Christina Taylor-Green, the 9-year-old girl who died under the bullets of the shooter. According to Barack Obama, she symbolizes all the dreams and hopes of the United States. He urged Americans to be inspired by her.
He also paid tribute to those injured in the shooting and the heroes who overpowered the gunman at the peril of their lives, and those who volunteered to rescue the wounded.
Six people died and 14 others were injured, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
More than 12,000 people came at the University of Arizona’s McKale Memorial Center in Tucson.
Obama also announced that the Gabrielle Giffords, who was the primary target of the attack, had opened her eyes for the first time on Wednesday evening, shortly after he visited her.
Giffords, who is still in critical condition, is now able to breathe alone.
Giffords, whose brain was literally traversed by a bullet semiautomatic 9 mm Glock, responds to simple commands.
The congresswoman had been kept in a coma and is still intubated to protect the respiratory system and to avoid any complications such as pneumonia.
Five others who were wounded in the shootings remain hospitalized and three of them are in serious condition.