A somber President Barack Obama led a moment of silence today for a nation stunned by the attempted assassination of Gabrielle Giffords. On a frigid Washington morning, the president and first lady walked out of the White House to the sounding of a bell at 11 am. They stood next to each other on the South Lawn with their hands clasped and heads bowed, surrounded by more than 300 White House staff members. After a minute of silence, they walked inside, the president's hand on the first lady's back.
The moment also was marked on the steps of the US Capitol and around the nation at the direction of the president, who called for the country to come together in prayer or reflection for those killed and those fighting to recover. At the Supreme Court, the justices paused for a moment of silence between the two cases they were hearing this morning. Earlier, Chief Justice John Roberts said the shootings "caused devastating injury to persons who all, in their own way, contribute to the strength of our nation."