President Barack Obama is set to deliver remarks in prime time at a memorial in Arizona on Wednesday for the victims of a shooting which left six people dead and 14 injured, including critically injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
The event, entitled Together We Thrive: Tucson and America will be held at the University of Arizona's McKale Memorial Center starting at 6 p.m. local time (8 p.m. EST).
The President, invited to the event by university officials, will fly from the Washington D.C. area on Wednesday afternoon with First Lady Michelle Obama and is set to return the same evening. Airport-like security is expected for the event, according to a university report.
Rep. Giffords, D-AZ, is expected to live through the point-blank shooting to the head, the leader of the medical team at University Medical Center in Tucson said Tuesday. Doctors say she is still in critical condition.
The event is meant to support and remember victims of the mass shooting in Tucson, and to lift the spirits of those who have been personally affected by this tragedy, according to the University of Arizona.
It's an honor for any university to have a visit from President and Mrs. Obama, UA President Robert N. Shelton said, according to a school report.
In our case, their visit comes under unfortunate and sad circumstances; however, their presence will go a long way toward helping the Tucson community heal from the tragedy that happened this weekend.
The ceremony will also include a Native American blessing, a moment of silence, brief remarks by university officials and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano
The memorial will be open to the public, with doors opening two hours ahead of time.
UA officials expect the arena to be filled to capacity, which is 14,545. The university will provide a live online video feed on its media website.