U.S. CONGRESS – Today, Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick and Senator Martha McSally, along with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, introduced companion bills in the House and Senate to affiliate the soon-to-be completed January 8th Memorial in Tucson with the National Park System, thereby making it a National Memorial.
On January 8th, 2011, a gunman opened-fire on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords “Congress on Your Corner” event being held at a grocery store in Tucson. The shooting wounded 13 and killed six members of our community. Congresswoman Giffords was among those wounded, as was her District Director at the time, Ron Barber, who went on to represent AZ-02 in Congress. Today, Ron is once again serving as District Director, this time for Rep. Kirkpatrick, and we are better for having him.
In the wake of this tragedy, the community showed extraordinary resilience. Three spontaneous memorials came together – at the site of the shooting, at University Medical Center, and at Congresswoman Giffords’ Tucson district office. These memorials were maintained for a time, but it soon became clear a more permanent memorial was necessary. Eventually, it was determined the permanent memorial should be located in and around the Old Pima County Courthouse in Tucson. That’s where, today, the Memorial is under construction.
The January 8th National Memorial Act will bolster the Memorial’s standing and recognize the events of January 8th, 2011, for what they were – a national tragedy followed by an incredible outpouring of support throughout our community and the whole country.
“The heartbreaking attack that took place nine years ago today didn’t just impact my hometown of Tucson, it shook the nation. The memorial will honor the victims but also celebrate the resilience of my community, and that resilience deserves to be elevated,”said Rep. Kirkpatrick. “I am proud to work with my Arizona colleagues on introducing this legislation shinning a light, nationally, on the good resilience that can defeat hateful violence.”
“Nine years ago today, a horrific attack in Tucson shook our community to the core. As Americans, we must all stand united against these senseless acts of violence on our representative government,” McSally said. “Our bill will allow for a permanent January 8th Memorial as a tribute to the lives lost and as a reminder of what makes our method of governing so great.” Original Cosponors of the House January 8th National Memorial Act include: Reps. Biggs, Gallego, Grijalva, Lesko, O’Halleran, Schweikert, & Stanton.