President Barack Obama has called for a national moment of silence at 11 a.m. Eastern Time, to honor the victims of the Arizona shooting. President Barack Obama announced Sunday that he will observe a moment of silence with White House staff on the South Lawn on Monday morning to honor the victims of the weekend shooting in Arizona. In a statement, he has called on the rest of the country to join him in a moment of silence at 11 a.m. Eastern Time.
Obama also ordered all flags on government buildings be flown at half-staff in honor of the victims.
“Tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. eastern standard time, I call on Americans to observe a moment of silence to honor the innocent victims of the senseless tragedy in Tucson, Arizona, including those still fighting for their lives. It will be a time for us to come together as a nation in prayer or reflection, keeping the victims and their families closely at heart,” Obama said in a statement.
The order to fly flags at half-staff will extend until January 14, and includes all government buildings at home and abroad, as well as military bases and ships.
National moments of silence are relatively rare. There are two annual calls for a national moment of silence.
One occurs at 3 p.m., local time, every Memorial Day, to honor fallen soldiers. It is called the National Moment of Remembrance and was established by an act of Congress (PDF) in 2000.
The other is every September 11, to honor the victims of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington in 2001.