President Barack Obama led the nation in a moment of silence Monday
morning, gathering with White House staff on the South Lawn to honor the
victims of the Saturday shooting rampage in Arizona.

The president and first lady Michelle Obama emerged from the White
House at 11 a.m., walked a few feet forward and stopped, bowed their
heads and stood silently for about a minute.

A bell chimed three times, a standard military protocol. The only
other sounds were of cameras clicking and a rope thumping with the wind
against a flagpole where the American flag flew at half-staff to honor
the victims.

About 300 members of the White House staff, including Mr. Obama’s top aides, were gathered on either side of the South Lawn.

The moment was also observed on Capitol Hill, where congressional
staff members gathered on the steps of the East Front of the Capitol
Building, with heads bowed and hands clasped in front of them. Most
lawmakers were home in their districts.

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