TUCSON, Arizona — US President Barack Obama on Wednesday implored a divided America to honor those attacked in the Arizona shooting rampage by becoming a better country, and in a dramatic moment said that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who on Saturday was shot point-blank in the head, had opened her eyes for the first time shortly after his hospital visit.
Obama dramatically announced that following his bedside visit with Giffords, the target of the assassination, she "opened her eyes, so I can tell you, she knows we're here, and she knows we love her."
First lady Michelle Obama held hands with Giffords' husband, Mark Kelly, as the news brought soaring cheers throughout the arena.
Speaking at a memorial in Tucson, Arizona, Obama conceded that there is no way to know what triggered the shooting rampage that left six people dead, 13 others wounded and the nation shaken. He tried instead to leave indelible memories of the people who were gunned down and to rally the country to use the moment as a reflection on the nation's behavior and compassion.