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Prez Obama pays emotional tribute

world Updated: Jan 14, 2011 00:52 IST

US President Barack Obama on Wednesday implored Americans to cleanse their corroded democracy to fulfill the snuffed out hopes of a nine-year-old girl gunned down in the Arizona shooting tragedy.

In an emotive and rousing memorial service, Obama said the innocent and emerging wonder at democracy of Christina Taylor Green should spur Americans to use her loss to purge the vicious divisiveness consuming public life.

“I want us to live up to her expectations. I want our democracy to be as good as she imagined it. All of us -- we should do everything we can to make sure this country lives up to our children’s expectations.”

Soul-searching since the tragedy has focused on the toxic political climate and whether it in some way inspired the misfit gunman who shot dead six people and wounded 14 others in an attempted assassination on a congresswoman.

In a 35-minute eulogy that sought to unite a fractured America after Saturday’s shooting, Obama called for a more civil public discourse and urged Americans not to turn on one another, Democrat upon Republican.