January 12th, 2011
10:12 PM ET

Memorial Service for Ariz. Shooting Victims: Join the Live Chat

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/02/liveblogfinal.copy.jpg]

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has opened her eyes. It's a major development in her recovery. Pres. Obama made the announcement tonight during the memorial service on the campus of the University of Arizona, Tuscon.
We'll talk with some of her collegagues on Capitol Hill who were in the hospital room at the time. We'll also have all the angles on Pres. Obama's message tonight in Tuscon.

Scroll down to join the live chat during the program. It's your chance to share your thoughts on tonight's headlines. Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules.

Here are some of them:

1) Keep it short (we don't have time to read a "book")
2) Don't write in ALL CAPS (there's no need to yell)
3) Use your real name (first name only is fine)
4) No links
5) Watch your language (keep it G-rated; PG at worst - and that includes $#&*)

Filed under: Live Blog
soundoff (238 Responses)
  1. Emily

    @BettyAnn, Nacogdoches,TX
    She did show much promise indeed. Her parents are seem like very decent people, who and are holding up remarkable well. I'm sure that their son is equally talented.

    January 12, 2011 at 11:01 pm |
  2. Gloria, Brooklyn, NY

    May God continues to be with the Green's family as well as all the other families who have suffer such a great loss in Tucson.

    January 12, 2011 at 11:01 pm |
  3. Cherl

    I was completly touched and moved by the Presidents speech and I was nowhere near the arena in Tuscon. You didn't have to be present to be moved and effected by the heartfelt and wise words he put forth. This message is coming from Canada and it was a universal message that rings true no matter where you're from or what your political feelings are. Moments like this supercede anything else. I was applauding in my living room to many of what was said by all, but especially by President Obama. He's an amazing man and you should all be proud to have him to lead your country.

    January 12, 2011 at 11:01 pm |
  4. Janis

    My heart goes out to the parents and all the families of the loved ones lost.

    Good night. Uplifting program.

    January 12, 2011 at 11:00 pm |
  5. Nicole The Netherlands

    Good night everyone
    I thought the President's speech was inspirational and heartfelt

    January 12, 2011 at 11:00 pm |
  6. linda

    Our President is the best. Who could have doubted him as to what he was going to say. He always does a wonderful job. Now let's see if someone in Alaska will stop feeling sorry for themselves. My prayers go out to all.

    January 12, 2011 at 10:59 pm |
  7. Starr, formerly known as vincent


    Perhaps all of the attackers will chill out.

    God i pray you are right!

    January 12, 2011 at 10:59 pm |
  8. Marguerite

    There is a time and a place for everything, but this was not a time to campaign.

    Good night Anderson and everyone.

    January 12, 2011 at 10:59 pm |
  9. Jo Ann, Ohio

    The applause and whistling was inappropriate. The service sounded like some type of prep rally. It was uncomfortable to listen to.

    I was not at all moved by Obama's words, it sounded like he was using this opportunity for his own benefit.

    January 12, 2011 at 10:59 pm |
  10. Ada

    Terrific address by President Obama! Contrary to some comments by pundits on your show, the president needed to address everything he did tonight. The audience, most of whom were closest to the people lost, elected to cheer which demonstrates the speech addressed what the "people" versus the pundits needed to hear.

    January 12, 2011 at 10:59 pm |
  11. Susie

    Just the fact that so many are debating the cheering tells us most were surprised by it but if it really did help the hurting then who am I to judge. I believe the President really felt his own words when talking about those who were lost, especially the little girl. I didn't vote for this president but I can still appreciate his kindness tonight. We can disagree on politics but come on, we're all God's children, right?

    January 12, 2011 at 10:59 pm |
  12. Emily

    @Mike, formerly from Syracuse,
    "I'm glad the President said that incivility didn't cause this"
    You are not alone there!
    I doubt that 'they will chill out'. 🙂

    @James, Thanks!

    January 12, 2011 at 10:58 pm |
  13. Karoline, Los Angeles

    This family is so brave.

    January 12, 2011 at 10:58 pm |
  14. Sharon Hastings

    I've enjoyed all the blog comments tonight. I was so impressed with the whole memorial and celebration of the heroes involved in the tragedy. I think Arizona should be proud of their citizens, their unity, and their support for one another. They were so happy that the President and Mrs. Obama came.

    Good night everyone. Sleep well and stay safe.

    January 12, 2011 at 10:58 pm |
  15. Ava

    Anderson, I watched the memorial and was moved by the audience and everyone's remarks, especially our President. I made my three sons listen, becasue it is important for them to understand what this all means. I agree with the vast majority of the blggers and feel that your panel's remsarks are way off the mark. I won't say what I really think of their negative comments, because I am taking the President's words to heart.

    January 12, 2011 at 10:58 pm |
  16. Lori

    I felt like cheering when I heard that Gabby opened her eyes. It is a miracle!

    January 12, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
  17. Barbara, Pittsburgh, PA

    Ithink President Obama always tries to lead by example. I think all presidents, once alected, try to do the same. It is the common wannabees that spit out the hate. I hope there is a change in the hate spitting by the wannabees in the future but I don't imagine there will be.

    January 12, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
  18. BettyAnn, Nacogdoches,TX

    It just does not seem fair that a 9 year old girl with promise to make the world a better place was taken away. That is so hard to comprehend. 🙁
    So sorry for her family. They have my prayers

    January 12, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
  19. Lynn

    The President's speech moved me to tears; was healed by the audience's cheers...and I'm in St. Louis, MO – not Tucson! Anderson, we have all been touched by this event and President Obama's words tonight reminded us of the bigger picture and our responsibility as citizens. "Make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals-not in a way that wounds" President Barack Obama, 1/12/11

    January 12, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
  20. michele

    Speaking as a resident of Arizona, I think I can explain the cheering: it was gratitude. We are grateful they all came, we are grateful it took the form of a memorial service, we are grateful that Obama came to comfort us and that he presented a deeply felt, thoughtful speech. We are accustomed to being far away from the Beltway, we're not accustomed to a whole lot of attention from the feds, aside from lawsuits. This is the state of Jan Brewer and Ben "Worst President Ever" Quayle, and Obama graciously ignored all of that.

    January 12, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
  21. Sue from Syracuse

    Tremendous speech by Pres.Obama. Just the right tone, yet encouraging good debate on what may have caused the events. There is permission/approval/understanding to discuss it as a true democracy, but not to be in sensationalism one-day news cycle mode.

    January 12, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
  22. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    A few weeks ago I went to a memorial service for coworker's boyfriend. It was similar to this in tone, and I found it odd too, but after a while got into it. I think you had to be there to appreciate the tone. It didn't televise well.

    January 12, 2011 at 10:55 pm |
  23. Emily

    From what I'm reading, it sounds like they knew that there was going to be some applause as it was written into the speech, (the extra time). If they didn't want as many outbursts, it shouldn't have been held in such a large forum.

    January 12, 2011 at 10:54 pm |
  24. Karen, MN

    Good night all. God bless America!

    January 12, 2011 at 10:54 pm |
  25. Teri

    I was deeply moved by the President's speech this evening. I only wish we could be allowed to take these words in and use them how they were intended without having to listen to the words be picked apart and analyzed!

    January 12, 2011 at 10:54 pm |
  26. Rev. Brooks Barrick

    I am an ordained minister and thus deal with funerals and grief on a too often regular babis. I would like to comment on the crowd which you have discussed. A part of it is generational-remember there were a lot of college studetns there who have in all likelihood not had experiences of death dircetly connected to them...and different generation interrupt responses in different manners. Also, as a hospital chaplin for many years and dealing with death daily....people do not repsond the same to death...period. And finally, I remember when I was younger that every funeral and every wedding looked the same...that is not true anymore. You cannot guess what people will request. I find more and more folks requesting celebration for funeral instead of what I guess I would call mourning. So, from someone who does this for a living...I was not offended or surprised.

    January 12, 2011 at 10:54 pm |
  27. Terry

    It's time cable tv and pundits change their attitudes. Stop tearing down, disecting etc. and promote what is good in the country. Like President Obama's speech tonight. He had no ulterior motive other than try to uplift and help heal!

    January 12, 2011 at 10:54 pm |
  28. James

    In the spirit of stopping the finger pointing, I agree with Cindy and Emily.

    January 12, 2011 at 10:54 pm |
  29. Mae Schmaling

    The memorial tonight was somwhat similar to a New Orleans funeral. After days of dirge and tears, Tucson and the nation gathered to honor the fallen and find reasons to carry on. President Obama led us through tears and lifted us up with purpose. If our response is more jubilant than some would like, then they don't understand the relief of grief lifted even a little. Watch the bereaved and from their response judge whether the president brought comfort to Tucson.

    January 12, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
  30. Mignonne - Tucson

    Robert Lockwood: You're right. They have no idea what to make of us. It seems they simply cannot fathom how cathartic this was and sadly, I cannot begin to explain... The good thing is, I don't have to...

    January 12, 2011 at 10:52 pm |
  31. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    I'm glad the President said that incivility didn't cause this. Perhaps now the attackers will chill out.

    January 12, 2011 at 10:52 pm |
  32. Emily

    So, is it better that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords opened her eyes on command (from those in the room promoting her to do so), or if she had just opened them on her own for no reason? Which of these two scenarios would be better for her?

    January 12, 2011 at 10:51 pm |
  33. Bob & Becky Easton

    Anderson, "you had to be in Tucson to understand the crowd behavior at McHale" you are right. We didn't expect the crowd outbursts or celebration moments. We emotionally joined in. Needed this! Community has been in pain. Time for both a communal funeral and a communal celebration of life and hope. Please don't be too taken back by the reactions. We needed to get past our grief, our fears, our confusion and our embarrassment. Bob & Becky Easton

    January 12, 2011 at 10:51 pm |
  34. Starr, formerly known as vincent

    @Robert Lockwood

    You may have a point re: the panel does not understand how you are grieving because they would not grieve your way.

    God bless you and your community...do what ever you need to do the heal and come together!
    My thoughts and prayers have been with all of you since the shooting this weekend.

    January 12, 2011 at 10:50 pm |
  35. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    Christina Green was so amazing girl, bubbles, was played baseball,wanted to be politics in the future, but only 9 yrs old so short life... My heart broken for her parents.

    January 12, 2011 at 10:50 pm |
  36. Terry

    Extraordinary! Right President, right time! Pundits have it wrong> Time they get on the band wagon!

    January 12, 2011 at 10:50 pm |
  37. Paula, Colorado

    It's incredible that Mary Reed and her family survived such an ordeal–they are very courageous.
    It's great to hear of Congresswoman Giffords gradual recovery.

    January 12, 2011 at 10:50 pm |
  38. Marie

    Many of you expected a somber affair. Maybe, it is a cultural thing. That is why you don't get the clapping and cheering. When you attend a Home Going Service (funeral service) in a black church it is a celebration of life and the joy that they are back home with their Father.

    January 12, 2011 at 10:49 pm |
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