WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama urged Americans on Saturday to maintain the “spirit of common cause” that arose from grieving over the Arizona shootings and use it to solve the nation’s problems.
Legislative work in Washington came to a halt this week while lawmakers and citizens from both parties mourned the victims of a gunman who went on a rampage in Arizona on January 8, killing six people and wounding 14, including Representative Gabrielle Giffords.
Obama gave a well-received speech at a memorial service for the victims on Wednesday in Arizona and he revived the theme of national unity in his weekly radio and Internet address.
The president lauded lawmakers who came together to pay tribute to Giffords and the other victims earlier in the week.
“As shrill and discordant as our politics can be at times, it was a moment that reminded us of who we really are — and how much we depend on one another,” Obama said.
“While we can’t escape our grief for those we’ve lost, we carry on now, mindful of those truths.”
Obama said the country had to “carry on” out of necessity and work to create jobs, improve the economy, “shore up” the budget and bring down the deficit.
“These are challenges I believe we can meet. And I believe we can do it in a way worthy of those who sent us here to serve,” Obama said.
“So as business resumes, I look forward to working together in that same spirit of common cause with members of Congress from both parties — because before we are Democrats or Republicans, we are Americans.”
This video is from the White House, broadcast Jan 15, 2011.