President Obama and the first lady observed a moment of silence on Monday in remembrance of those who were killed and wounded in Saturday's shooting in Arizona. There was also an observance at the U.S. Capitol.
About 20 minutes before 11 a.m. not many people were on the marble steps of the Capitol. A young Hill staffer was heard asking if anyone was going to come out in the bitter cold to observe a moment of silence. Then a slow trickle of staffers became a steady stream as hundreds of congressional aides and a few members filled the expansive space, honoring those who were shot in Arizona.
For a time, besides the occasional click of a camera, all that could be heard were wind gusts as many eyes on the steps filled with tears.
Missouri Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, a Methodist minister, broke the silence with a prayer as the truly bi-partisan crowd locked arms.
"Help us move from this dark place to a place of sunshine and hope. Bless these, God, your servants, who serve this nation. Keep them safe," Cleaver said.
When the prayer was finished the large gathering slowly shuffled past as D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton told reporters how healing it was to join the gathering.
"This reminds us that we are all bonded. And we better always remember it when we are on the House floor, when we are in our districts. We belong to the same group. We belong to the same institution. The attack on our colleague was an attack on each and every one of us," Norton said.
The president and the first lady also observed a moment of silence at the White House.