09/01/2016 6:10 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST

White House Will Make A Powerful Gesture On U.S. Gun Violence At The State Of The Union

In this photo from Wednesday, April 17, 2013, Neil Heslin, father of six-year-old Newtown victim Jesse Lewis, left, and former Rep. Gabby Giffords, D-Ariz., stands by President Barack Obama as he gestures while speaking during a news conference in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. In past five years, Giffords has hiked the Grand Canyon, raced in a 40-mile bike ride, sky dived and founded an advocacy group that helped convince President Obama to take executive action on gun control. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON -- The White House spends a considerable amount of attention each year on who will receive the honor of sitting with the first lady during the State of the Union address. These are some of the most high-profile spots in the chamber, and the guests usually reflect a message or policy priority that the president will discuss.

This year, however, the first lady's box will be most notable for who is not there: The White House will be leaving a seat empty at Tuesday's event to honor people who have died due to gun violence.

President Barack Obama made the announcement on a conference call with grassroots supporters Friday, where he discussed the steps he's taking to address gun violence.

Read more at The Huffington Post.