President Barack Obama has called for Americans to show greater civility toward one another to honor those killed and wounded in the shooting attack that left six people dead and U.S. lawmaker Gabrielle Giffords hospitalized with serious injuries.
Obama spoke January 12 at a memorial service for the six dead victims and more than a dozen others who were wounded in the January 8 shooting rampage in Tucson, Arizona.
The shooting occurred during a political event hosted by Giffords, a member of Obama's Democratic Party, who remains hospitalized after being shot in the head.
Addressing what has been described as increasing polarization between Americans of different political views, Obama urged citizens not to forget what unites them.
"We may not be able to stop all evil in the world, but I know that how we treat one another, that's entirely up to us," the president said.
"And I believe that for all our imperfections, we are full of decency and goodness, and that the forces that divide us are not as strong as those that unite us."
Obama, who visited Giffords in her hospital room, also announced that she had been able to open her eyes for the first time since the shooting.
Doctors have said they are optimistic about Giffords' survival chances, but it remains unclear whether she will make a full recovery.
The accused gunman, Jared Lee Loughner, 22, has been charged with murder and attempted murder in connection with the bloodshed, which occurred in a public parking lot.
compiled from agency reports