Arizona Commemorates the Gabrielle Giffords Shooting One Year Later
Over the weekend Arizona residents commemorated what has come to be known as the "Tucson Tragedy;" the day Jared Lee Loughner opened fire outside a Tucson Safeway killing six and wounding 14 including U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords. Residents from across Arizona and the country, including Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly, participated in the memorial.
Keith Perfetti (From left) Gabrielle Giffords, her husband Mark Kelly, Peter Rhee and Eugene Sander applaud Calexico and the Tucson Symphony Orchestra at the candlelight vigil to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the 'Tucson Tragedy' in Tucson, Arizona on Sunday, January 8, 2012. Calexico and the TSO performed 'Crystal Frontier,' a song which Giffords once sent to her husband Kelly while he was in space.
Weekend events included the Beyond main event at Reid Park on January 7th. Beyond featured yoga, bike obstacle courses, Tai Chi workouts, and a high school dance group. There was also a commemoration event at Kino Stadium with several speakers including Stephanie Aaron, Gabrielle Giffords' Rabbi, and Ross Zimmerman whose son Gabe, Giffords' Community Outreach Director, was killed in the shooting. Specially composed music, choirs and LED candles honoring the victims of the shooting, were also featured at the event.
Keith Perfetti Gabrielle Giffords looks back lovingly at her husband Mark Kelly who is shown in the flat screen below Giffords during the candlelight vigil commemorating the one-year anniversary of the 'Tucson Tragedy.'
On January 8th, a Reflections event was held at Centennial Hall featuring speakers talking about the lives of the six people killed. A candlelight vigil also filled the University of Arizona mall.
In last week's print edition of the New Times, we reviewed Tom Zoellner's book, A Safeway in Arizona: What the Gabrielle Giffords Shooting Tells Us About the Grand Canyon State and Life in America. Zoellner is a long-time friend of Giffords' and a former campaign volunteer. You can also read a Q&A with Zoellner talking about his book and what the tragedy means for Arizona and the country.