May They Rest In Peace:
Christina Green, Dorothy Morris, Judge John Roll, Phyllis Schneck, Dorwan Stoddard, Gabe Zimmerman

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.

Giffords, other Tucson victims prepare for shooting anniversary

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.

Rep. Giffords sworn in for second term Jan. 5, 2011

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.

Rep. Giffords and husband Mark Kelly in Tucson - Jan. 7, 2012

Giffords walks trail in memory of slain staffer

God bless Tucson.


Below are links relating to the one year anniversary:

Moving Forward: The victims of Jan. 8 and their loved ones vow to move on – but never forget.

CNN: Giffords to attend vigil marking one year since shooting rampage

Tucson, LA Mayors call for Jan. 8 memorial bell-ringing


Dusk ceremony caps Beyond Tucson events

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19 Comments | Leave a comment
  1. SmartGirlJen says:

    Oh Lisa – it seems like yesterday, and yet a lifetime ago. The ugliness that ensued was so painful. How many of our friends got death threats because they were leaders in the conservative community. I remember being close to terrified driving up to the taping of the Christiane Amanour sham ABC Townhall. Neither one of us wanted to go, but we felt we needed to support the leaders of the Tucson Tea Party that had gotten so many death threats, the Sheriff’s office told them to stay out of public. I was so relieved to see you in the parking lot, I practically ran to you. I remember feeling like a few people may have recognized us and targeted when that awful woman made it a point to speak to us. I wanted to vomit when Debbie Wassermann-Schultz decided to use this as an opporunity to pimp Obamacare, and was literally speachless, stopped talking mid-sentence when the horrific Grijalva walked in the room. You were my rock. We stood together alot that week, and we focused on our community’s victims and tried to ignore the politics and the hate-stream directed at our town. As much as I love Southern Arizona, I am glad I am not there for this anniversary. It is still so painful to remember the horror and the aftermath, and how it affected our close knit city.

    I am so proud to call you a friend and stand with you any day, any time. Thanks for the eloquent tribute.

    • Artgal says:

      And what an honor it is to call you friend – indeed, a friend for life, Jen! 🙂

      I remember feeling very apprehensive going into the parking lot for the Amanpour taping and was so glad to see you walking toward me the moment I parked. I did not want to walk into that building alone. It was a sickening display at a taping that was supposed to be focused on the Tucson massacre. Hearing Grijalva, former Mayor of Tucson Bob Walkup (R) and former Congressman in CD-8 Jim Kolbe (R) discuss the fever pitch of our local politics was incredibly surreal considering just a little while later it would be Trent Humphries being directly threatened during the taping by Eric Fuller. ABC debated whether or not to show that bit of drama, but there was no problem in airing the accusations of Grijalva, Kolbe and Walkup even though ‘speech’ nor politics had anything to do with Loughner’s actions.

      About 6-7 months before the shootings, my best friend called with a concern about a guy who was sitting next to her in a class at Pima Community College. She was discussing his odd behavior and how to go about talking to the professor on reporting him. As she described his classroom antics, I grew very concerned for her safety and told her to report him and drop the class as he sounded like a ticking time bomb. She wound up talking to the professor who also expressed concerns and notified administration. It would not be long until Loughner was forcibly removed from class following a threat and eventually, the college. My friend sat right next to Loughner during that time. She also shared the class with a woman who assigned herself a seat close to the door so she could escape if needed. When people began assigning blame to tea party people, my friend (a liberal) stood in our defense. Even though she sat next to Loughner and stated his actions had nothing to do with politics – he was simply insane – that still was not good enough for some. Even with some of the ceremonies today, ‘civility’ is the theme.

      Jen – there is no way we will ever be able to fully describe what it was like in Tucson immediately in the aftermath of the shootings. Not even two hours had gone by before Shepherd Smith was interviewing AZ State Sen. Sanchez who openly blamed our tea party community and Jesse Kelly’s campaign for what occurred with Smith going right along with it. Geraldo Rivera went a bit further assigning blame squarely on Jesse that evening and our own Sheriff Dupnik implicating our entire state. Palin was also blamed and though concerned for her safety, our immediate concern was for our friends who did not have 24/7 security detail or high profiles (except for what was being assigned to them). Still, media had a hand in putting very innocent people at risk. Several of our friends had to lay low some even having to relocate for a while. Tucson is not a big city, so it’s not hard to run into people or apply less than six degrees of separation. It was also beyond infuriating having international press descend upon our city pumping the ‘civility clause’ down the throats of their viewers across the globe. Some contacted our friends only to twist their words when it went to print putting those individuals at enormous personal risk as well. It was a nightmare on all levels that will never be fully realized by anyone who was not here at that awful time. What people outside of our city also did not get to see was how we all came together less than 2 days after the shootings organizing to protect the families of the slain from Westboro. Even our state legislature got involved – that’s how powerful we were in helping our community in such an awful hour.

      We did not merely witness the aftermath, Jen – we lived it. What was not reported is that a few months after the shootings, Tucson Tea Party held a rally which was very successful; no one stayed home out of fear. The onslaught of media lies did not silence or discourage our friends such as Gabriela Saucedo Mercer and Ally Miller from seeking public office for 2012 – both women with whom we founded Pima Co. Tea Party Patriots which continues despite the threats received a year ago.

      I know my response is lengthy; certain things cannot be summed up briefly – plus describing a fraction of what occurred is somewhat cathartic, I suppose. It’s now 9:32 a.m. in AZ and I remember where I was this time a year ago: getting ready to deliver a presentation at an LD meeting on the Gender Gap in 2010 elections at 9:45 a.m. We were just a mile and a half from Giffords event. Lesley VB was with me. It would be about 10:20 when someone mentioned a shooting occurred at Oracle and Ina with another person saying, ‘That’s where the Giffods event is going on, isn’t it?’ But nothing more was said so we thought it was a mistake. About a half hour later, all that changed. So did many lives that day.

      Sending you good vibes and a big hug on this day of remembering, Jen. Our hearts are in Tucson as we draw closer to 10:11 a.m. – the moment shots were fired changing Tucson forever.

      • SmartGirlJen says:

        You know, the one memory that I try to focus on is the silence along Shannon Road, the day of Christina’s funeral, for hours, as thousands gathered to support her family and make sure that Westboro did not make their presence known.

    • AniMel says:

      When you posted online that you were going to be at that townhall, I was ready to drive down there myself…then they wouldn’t let me off work. I was not allowed at the time to post about my boss being such a jerk about it (he literally told me he’d fire me if I called off sick), but he’s gone now so I can say it.

  2. TX Soldier254 says:

    Thank you Tammy for remembering those that died on that cold quite day in Tucson.

  3. tamcat says:

    The killings were tragic. May those victims souls rest in peace. Too sad.

  4. Maynard says:

    On February 15, 1933, when President Roosevelt was making a speech in Florida, Giuseppe Zangara, an immigrant from Italy, shot at him from the crowd and tried to assassinate him. He missed Roosevelt, but five other people were hit, including Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak, who was standing next to the president. Within a few days, Zangara was taken to court and pleaded guilty of four counts of attempted murder and was sentenced to 80 years. On March 6, 19 days after the shooting, Mayor Cermak died of his wounds. This changed the “attempted murder” to “murder”. Zangara was taken back to court and again pleaded guilty. He was executed in Florida’s “Old Sparky” on March 20, 1933. Add it up. It took about five weeks to execute the assassin. This was before we became enlightened.

    So here we are, a year after the Giffords shooting, and we’re still struggling with the complexities of how or whether to bring the shooter to trial. It’s really, you know, a very complicated situation.

    What’s wrong with us?

    • TX Soldier254 says:

      Excellent point Maynard!

      We in the Great State of Texas have to wait up to 10yrs, in most cases, for Justice to be done.

      Yes, what’s Wrong with US?

  5. Rob_W says:

    May they rest in peace. Thank you, Lisa, for this fitting memorial. We appreciate Tammy’s consistent reminder to appreciate each day, as there is no guarantee we will make it to the next. While ghoulish politicians and media-types continue to distort and capitalize upon such atrocities, we the decent people, the backbone of this country, will grieve and comfort the bereaved, and we will also stand strong for truth and justice.

  6. cactuswren says:

    Thank you Lisa for this thoughtful, fitting memorial post. My continued prayers for the remarkable recovery of Gabby Giffords and others wounded on that day. And special prayers for the loved ones of those murdered and are mourning on this anniversary.
    I will never forget that day. My memory will always be tainted by the reaction of the left. I work as a delivery driver in the area of Gabby’s office (which has since moved). I had heard the news of the shooting just minutes after it happened. Another 10 minutes later, as I was praying for the victims, I happened to need to drive by the corner of Gabby’s office. I was shocked to see two people, literally within minutes of the news, out on the corner in front of her office with signs that read “Gun control now” and “TeaParty murdered Gabby”. Unbelievable. And then the vultures decended upon us. The giant TV news trucks with their beautiful manicured anchors. I had to walk through these crowds several times in the following week or two. As the memorials grew out on the grounds; people leaving flowers, stuffed animal, balloons and notes, I would drive by and see the mourners dilegently being dogged by the media. Unfortunately my memories of the lose of life is overshadowed by the *indecency* of the left and media to make politcal fodder out of this horrific event. As I drive by that corner, daily I am reminded of that morning. Occasionaly I will see a new little something left in memorium. Frankly, I did not expect to be feeling the emotions that I am this morning. As the tears fall from my cheeks, I can only imagine the pain that the loved ones of the victims are feeling. God bless and keep them.

    • SmartGirlJen says:

      Thanks for sharing. We were wrapping up the 100 Mile Hump to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project that day, and expected a celebration, but instead were in shock. My husband and I went for a hike on Sunday just to get away from the news. For those of us in Tucson, it is not just the day we remember, but the following weeks. I can tell you where I was each day following the shootings for the next seven days based on the activity and trauma.

  7. fryer44 says:

    Thank you Artgal and Tammy for a great post. It said what I have been trying to compose since last night and said it ten times better. I linked this post on my blog.

  8. Shifra says:

    Thanks, ArtGal, for your beautiful post. Your pain is felt here too, on the East Coast. I remember well the shock and horror of that day. But I also remember the horror of the afermath — the circus of a “memorial” (Why was it held in a college basketball gym rather than in a church???) with the cheering of the adoring Obots. What a disgrace! And I will never forget Janet Napolitano, reading from Isaiah (still can’t figure out what was the connection) with a strange smile and eyes rolling. And then the false accusation leveled against Palin, and the outrage of the Liberals when she referred to the charge as a “blood libel,” which it surely was. May the victims rest in peace. And let’s hope for better days ahead.

  9. Kat says:

    What a horrific day that was one year ago! God Bless all of the victims from that day, along with their families and all Tusconians(sp)! I pray that with God’s love and time the emotional wounds may heal, especially for those who lost loved ones!
    I believe the country changed that day and alot of it not for the good! The way this event was and still is politicized (by both Dems and the elite Republicans) makes me sick! Accusing a GREAT political movement, the Tea Party, and a GREAT American, Gov. Palin, of murder is, simply put, Disgusting!
    Also, for Furkel and company to turn the Memorial service into a campaign rally is beyond contemptable! To chastize the American people for their rhetoric and then turn right around and use the same rhetoric against the American people is unforgivable!
    Artgal, Thank You to you and other residents of Tuscon and Arizona for showing America and the world, grace and fearlessness under pressure!
    God Bless Tuscon!

  10. LJZumpano says:

    Our prayers are with Tucson. Thank you Artgal, we remember with you.

  11. flaggman says:

    Great post and thank you for sharing your thoughts and memories everyone. I hate to say, Tammy is right as usual: the left is probably a little bit bummed that Gabby survived. You hear a little bit of compassion for her, but you hear a lot about the supposed “tone” in the country. They would have had a much better chance at a “tone clampdown” if she had died, or if an actual conservative actually pulled the trigger. I don’t think most of them could care two whits about the actual story: that she was a stalking victim of a confirmed psycho, and the system allowed this to happen by letting the guy walk the streets.

  12. AniMel says:

    I was getting off duty late when we heard that something serious was going on in Tucson. We had no idea just how bad it was until we saw the news. I had just gotten home when Dupnik made his comments, and I immediately got text messages from everyone I’d been on shift with wishing we could call that idiot out for his stupidity – even from the liberals I work with.

    If just one person in that ultra-liberal bastion had been armed, the situation could have been stopped long before six people died. We wouldn’t be waiting for this lunatic to respond to psychotropic medication. Instead, we’ve got liberals blaming us for all of the inflamed rhetoric that they are guilty of and claiming that fewer guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens will be the cure.

  13. jiaconis says:

    The photo of Christina Green still haunts me, as do all the others, however, there is something more tragic when a 10 year old girl just goes to see her congresswoman and is murdered by this insane cancer cell. This guy should have gotten old sparky within a week of the shooting. I am not a friend of Islam, however, they do get one thing right that we don’t. Back in 1975 King Faisal of Saudi Arabia was assinated by his nephew on March 25th, his got his head cut off less then 3 months later. Why can’t we get it right, they do???

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