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Contributed by Tucson's January 8th Memorial Foundation
January 8, 2011 is a day seared into memory of our community, our state and our nation. The shootings that occurred at U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' "Congress on your Corner" event in Tucson wounded thirteen and killed six individuals who were participating in a fundamental act of democracy.
This diverse collection of spontaneous memorial tribute items has been arranged in several categories:
On Saturday morning, Jan. 8, 2011, at 10:10 a.m., a young man shot nineteen people who were gathered at the Safeway store on the corner of Ina and Oracle in northwest Tucson to talk with their congresswoman about varied issues and concerns. Those who perished in the shootings that morning were
- Christina-Taylor Green, age 9
- Gabe Zimmerman, age 30
- Dorothy Morris, age 76
- U.S. District Court Judge John Roll, age 63
- Phyllis Schneck, age 79
- Dorwan Stoddard, age 76
Those injured in the shootings were
- U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords
- Bill Badger
- Ron Barber
- Kenneth Dorushka
- James Eric Fuller
- Randy Gardner
- Susan Hileman
- George Morris
- Mary Reed
- Pam Simon
- Mavanell Stoddard
- Jim Tucker
- Kenneth Veeder
In the days that followed, our community came together to provide comfort and support to one another at spontaneous memorial tribute sites: the Safeway where the shooting took place; the front lawn of University Medical Center, where many of the victims were treated; and at Congresswoman Giffords' Tucson district office. Memorial tribute materials also were left at Mesa Verde Elementary School where the youngest victim of the shooting, Christina-Taylor Green, was a student. These community-created tribute memorial sites were spontaneous and organic, a place for people to gather together in shared grief and hope. The beautiful and diverse materials placed at the three spontaneous tribute sites around Tucson in the wake of the shootings of January 8th form an amazing collection of the community's heartfelt response to this tragedy. With approximately 570 linear feet of diverse materials including thousands of cards, signs, artwork, candles, paper chains, tiles, stuffed toys, flowers, balloons, flags, rocks, photos and many other materials, this collection is a manifestation of the collective outpouring of grief, shock, sadness and unity, expressing the myriad hopes of the community for positive changes to be born out of the tragedy.
While the tribute memorials could not remain indefinitely in the locations where they grew up, the need to preserve these touching items for future generations was clear. In early February 2011, the tribute materials at University Medical Center, Safeway and Congresswoman Giffords' office were carefully gathered, dried and given basic preservation treatments for exposure to the elements by trained archivists from University of Arizona Special Collections and a group of volunteers. The tribute items then were stored while long-term decisions could be carefully considered about their future archival processing and possible use in exhibits or a permanent memorial dedicated to January 8th. We are happy to report that work is currently underway on the process of inventorying and cataloguing these beautiful, diverse and moving tribute materials. This collection is intended as way to share these heartfelt materials with the community once again in the spirit of healing, unity and hope for a better future.
When at all possible, we have identified the names of creators of the items included in this collection of tribute materials. If you have additional information about individual item, please contact us at www.january8memorial.com and we will work to enhance the description in our digital exhibit. There are thousands and thousands of materials included in this collection, so if you don't see your card, artwork or gift yet included online, please check back, as this collection will continue to grow over time as more items are digitized and shared in this digital exhibit.
For more information on Tucson's January 8th Memorial Foundation and to learn how you can get involved and help support our efforts to construct a permanent memorial in Tucson to commemorate the events of Jan. 8, 2011 and our community's incredible response to them, please visit our website at www.tucsonsmemorial.org.
Tucson's January 8th Memorial Foundation would like to extend special thanks to DKA Archive Advantage (http://dkajobs.com/archive-advantage/) their invaluable assistance with digitizing tribute materials, as well as to the Sundt Corporation (http://www.sundt.com/) for generously providing temporary storage facilities for the tribute materials.