Arizona’s congressional delegation is leaving an empty seat on the House floor tonight for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the Democrat gravely injured this month during the massacre in Tucson.
Spokesmen for several members of the delegation say the empty seat in the packed chamber will be a reminder to the nation of the price of the Jan. 8 attack, which left six people dead, Giffords with a shot to the head and 12 others wounded. The massacre sparked a national conversation about angry political rhetoric and calls for civility.
Obama is expected to deliver a soothing speech. Some lawmakers, including Republicans and Democrats from Arizona, are planning to sit next to colleagues of the opposite party to create a visual symbol of unity.