Parents can learn from Arizona shooting: Michelle Obama

Arizona shooting

US First Lady Michelle Obama on Thursday asked American parents to talk to their children about the Arizona shooting that killed six people, including a nine-year-old girl, and use the event to teach them value of tolerance.

Michelle, who joined her husband US President Barack Obama at a memorial service for the victims, issued an open letter to parents.

"We can teach them the value of tolerance -- the practice of assuming the best, rather than the worst, about those around us. We can teach them to give others the benefit of the doubt, particularly those with whom they Disagree," Michelle said in the open letter.

She along with the US President, Barack Obama, travelled to Tucson on Wednesday to attend a memorial for the victims of the shooting. The shooting over the weekend also critically injured US lawmaker Gabrielle Giffords, who is fighting for her life in hospital.

"Like so many Americans all across the country, Barack and I were shocked and heartbroken by the horrific act of violence committed in Arizona this past weekend," she said.

"As parents, an event like this hits home especially hard. It makes our hearts ache for those who lost loved ones. It makes us want to hug our own families a little tighter. And it makes us think about what an event like this says about the world we live in and the world in which our children will grow up," she said.

"In the days and weeks ahead, as we struggle with these issues ourselves, many of us will find that our children are struggling with them as well. The questions my daughters have asked are the same ones that many of your children will have and they don't lend themselves to easy answers.

"But they will provide an opportunity for us as parents to teach some valuable lessons about the character of our country, about the values we hold dear, and about finding hope at a time when it seems far away," Michelle said.

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