January 8, 2012 will mark the one year anniversary of the Tucson shootings which left six people dead, thirteen injured and Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords fighting for her life. For all Tucsonans, the date will be a time of reflection and acknowledgement with many memorial ceremonies taking place throughout the city.
It is hard to believe the one year anniversary is upon us. What stands out is the way Tucsonans came together in a dark hour. Many formed prayer circles, some of which lasted the entire weekend, when the news broke. We stood together when maligned by national as well as foreign media and our own Sheriff Dupnik. We were also successful in working together as a community to keep Westboro Baptist Church from picketing the funerals of nine-year-old Christina Taylor Green and Judge John Roll.
Since the shootings, the strength and will of Rep. Giffords has been inspiring and impressive. The fact Rep. Giffords survived and has made remarkable progress is nothing short of a miracle. There has been much speculation on what Giffords’ political future holds – some even posting unconfirmed reports today that she will resign in the upcoming week. Whatever the case may be, I pray for Rep. Giffords’ continued recovery and the healing of all those injured or who lost loved ones on the morning of January 8, 2011 – a date etched into the heart of every Tucsonan.
On this anniversary, I also wish to add a video of Rep. Giffords reading The First Amendment on the House floor just a few days before the shooting. Many tried to make ‘free speech’ the reason for the shooting instead of Jared Loughner. It is profound that Rep. Giffords would be reading this section just days before she began the journey in reclaiming her own voice.
God bless Tucson.
Below are links relating to the one year anniversary: