The synagogue where Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is a member held a healing service in her honor this past Sunday — one day after the Arizona congresswoman was shot in the head outside of Tucson supermarket
She had been meeting with constituents at the time of the attack, which killed six and wounded 20.
Giffords, 40, remained in critical condition. Her doctors said she was able to respond to simple commands after surviving brain surgery, a promising sign, but had been placed in a medically induced coma to control brain swelling.
Also Sunday, 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner was charged on five federal counts stemming from the attack, including the attempted assassination of a member of Congress. He was also charged with the murder of two federal employees, John Roll, a federal court judge, and Gabriel Zimmerman, a Giffords aide, and with the attempted murder of two other federal employees, both members of the congresswoman’s staff.
Giffords recovery, and that of the others injured in the shooting, was the focus of last Sunday’s healing service at Congregation Chaverim in Tucson. Rabbi Stephanie Aaron, whom Giffords has called her spiritual mentor, led the service that packed the sanctuary with an estimated 225 people.
And President Obama is en-route to Arizona to speak at a memorial service:Tonight at 8pm
President Obama began working Monday night on the speech he will deliver during a memorial service tonight for the victims of Saturday’s mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona.
White House officials say Obama has determined the broad idea of what he wants to say and is working with his team of speechwriters on drafting his remarks.
According to one White House official, the president will likely continue tweaking the speech throughout the day before his scheduled Wednesday evening remarks.
While the details, tone and length of the speech have not been released, Obama “will devote most of his remarks to memorializing the victims,” a White House official said.
“As president of the United States, but also as a father, obviously I’m spending a lot of time just thinking about the families and reaching out to them,” Obama said Monday.