Some very brief comments:
The president shined. No doubt about it. He rose to the occasion though I'm sure there will be some on FOX News complaining because the president, towards the end of his speech, said he wants "our democracy to be as good as she [insert Christina Taylor Green] imagined it" (as opposed to stating we are the shining city on the hill). Sigh. One can imagine a Republican presidential nominee using this in his or her campaign commercials. Still, he touched all of the important points and kept the focus where it belonged - on the victims, both those that survived and those who died. Noting that Congresswoman Giffords opened her eyes was classy and brought hope when it was needed.
I was pleased that the opening spiritual ceremony was led by Native American who delivered a non-Christian prayer (if it could be called that). I'm only sorry he spent so much time introducing himself. His job was to pray pure and simple. Not talk about himself.
The students' speeches weren't that bad either. Something tells me they, particularly the her-denying hero Hernandez, will be running for office one day.
Speaker of the House John Boehner should have accepted the invitation to attend this ceremony. He is the Speaker of the House and as its leader and primary representative he should have been there to represent the House and show his support for his wounded colleague now fighting for her life in the hospital
Sarah Palin should not have spoken today and because she spent the time defending herself, portraying herself as a victim of "blood libel" of all things. She looked small and petty, particularly when compared to the president who did everything to make his speech about those who lost and saved lives and nothing about himself.