President Barack Obama will travel to Tucson, Ariz., on Wednesday to commemorate the victims of the shooting that led to the deaths of six people and many injuries, a senior administration official said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the White House had not authorized anybody to announce the trip.
The official could not provide details of what the president would do. Earlier in the day, White House officials said they expected the president would find ways throughout the week to commemorate victims, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, and to speak to the circumstances surrounding the shooting.
Since news of the incident first broke Saturday, the White House canceled several scheduled presidential events, including an economic policy discussion in upstate New York tomorrow.
Earlier today, Obama led the nation in a moment of silence, stepping out to the South Lawn of the White House with more than a hundred members of his staff. A Marine officer tolled a bell while the President and First Lady Michelle Obama bowed their head.
After a meeting with visiting French President Nicholas Sarkozy, Obama said the White House was "in close consultations with the families who have suffered these losses, as well as Governor Brewer, congressional leadership," about establishing some " mechanism, memorial, during the course of the next several days. And when we have that, we will announce it."
"It's going to be important, I think, for the country as a whole, as well as the people of Arizona, to feel as if we are speaking directly to our sense of loss, but also speaking to our hopes for the future and how out of this tragedy we can come together as a stronger nation," he said.