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January 12, 2021

Rep. Kirkpatrick Introduces Bill To Designate January 8th Memorial as a National Memorial

Honors victims’ legacies and community resilience ten years after the tragedy

(TUCSON, AZ ) — Today, Rep. Kirkpatrick re-introduced the January 8th National Memorial Act, which would affiliate the now-completed January 8th Memorial in Tucson with the National Park System, thereby making it a National Memorial. The bill has garnered support from Arizona House delegation members. 

On January 8th, 2011, a gunman opened fire on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ “Congress on Your Corner” event, which was 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. Ron also served as Rep. Kirkpatrick’s District Director in the 116th Congress, 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. This week, the memorial was completed.

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 devastating attack that took place ten years ago didn’t just impact my hometown of Tucson, it shook the whole country. The memorial, now completed, honors the victims, but also celebrates the strength of my community,” said Rep. Kirkpatrick. “I am proud to work with my Arizona colleagues on introducing this legislation again in the 117th Congress, especially after the events that took place at the Capitol last week. We must always work to show that the strong will of good people can defeat hateful violence.”

“2021 marks one decade since the deadly shooting at Congresswoman Gabby Giffords’ Congress on Your Corner event that took the lives of six Americans and irrevocably changed Gabby’s life, and the Tucson community, forever,” Rep. Tom O’Halleran added. “Today, I am proud to join my colleagues to re-introduce this legislation that will help establish an important location for remembrance and peace. As they are each year at this time, my thoughts are with the families of Christina-Taylor Green, Dorothy Morris, John Roll, Phyllis Schneck, Dorwan Stoddard, and Gabe Zimmerman, and with my friends Gabby and Mark, whose resilience inspires me every day.”

“The names of those killed and wounded in this tragic attack on Tucson should be remembered and celebrated for generations to come,” said Rep. Raúl Grijalva. “The memorial to commemorate this tragedy is a fitting tribute for their lives, and will ensure that the memory and lessons learned from that terrible day endure.”

“Arizona was forever changed on the morning of January 8, 2011. When we lift the stories and honor those who we lost, the heroes who sprung to action and the survivors of that senseless tragedy, we ensure future generations will learn about what happened that day,” said Rep. Greg Stanton. “A National January 8th Memorial will serve as a reminder of what they stood for — civic duty, public service, and a democracy where everyone is invited to participate.”

The text of the bill can be found here

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