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President Obama Headed To Arizona Wednesday

A person familiar with the president's schedule has told NPR's Scott Horsely that President Obama will travel to Tucson on Wednesday to pay tribute to the victims of Saturday's shooting rampage. Details of his trip are still sparse.

Earlier today, the president, First Lady Michelle Obama and hundreds of White House staffers observed a moment of silence on the South Lawn of the White House. The president also signed a proclamation asking that flags be flown at half staff to honor the victims of Saturday's shootings.

Six people were killed and more than a dozen wounded when a gunman opened fire outside a Tucson Safeway. Democratic congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head and remains in critical condition.

Obama's trip follows in the long tradition of presidents leading the nation in mourning over great tragedies. Horsely reports Obama has been reaching out to the victims' family members and Arizona's political leaders in preparation for a memorial. In his address to the country, the president said he hoped this tragedy would bring Americans together.

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Eyder Peralta
Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.