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January 7, 2022

REP. KIRKPATRICK STATEMENT REMEMBERING THE JANUARY 8th TUCSON SHOOTING

Continues Advancing her January 8th National Memorial Act in the U.S. House of Representatives

TUCSON, AZ ) — Today, Rep. Kirkpatrick released the following statement in advance of January 8th and shares an update on the ongoing progress of her bill, the January 8th National Memorial Act. 

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 killed six members of our community and wounded thirteen more. Congresswoman Giffords was among those wounded, as was her District Director at the time, Ron Barber, who subsequently stepped up to represent AZ-02 in Congress and eventually became Rep. Kirkpatrick’s District Director in 2020. 

“The devastating attack that took place eleven years ago didn’t just impact our Tucson community, it shook the whole country,” said Rep. Kirkpatrick. “Gabby Giffords was a mentor of mine since our time in the state legislature and she’s become a true friend and inspiration throughout my time in Congress. She is one of the greatest leaders our state has seen; the work from her and her office exemplified the meaning of public service and sacrifice. While the events of January 8th are haunting, they serve as a reminder that Congress and the federal government have not done nearly enough to curtail the gun violence crisis in this country. To honor the lives lost that day, the lives of constituents, and a congressional staffer that truly impacted their community, we must do more.

Christina-Taylor Green, Dorothy “Dot” Morris, John Roll, Phyllis Schneck, Dorwan Stoddard and Gabriel “Gabe” Zimmerman, live on in our memories and will never be forgotten.” 

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 around the Old Pima County Courthouse in Tucson. 

Rep. Kirkpatrick 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. 

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 and display of resilience throughout our community and 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 and pushing through committee this year. We must always work to show that the strong will of good people can defeat hateful violence.”

In October, Kirkpatrick invited former Congressman Ron Barber to testify during the House Natural Resources Committee Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands hearing on behalf of her bill, the January 8th National Memorial Act.

From former Congressman Ron Barber’s testimony, “The Memorial honors the six people who were killed on that fateful day and those who were wounded and survived. It also is dedicated to the remarkable response from our community in the wake of this unspeakable tragedy. That outpouring of support showed the strength, resilience, and true spirit of Southern Arizonans. Our first responders saved many lives, and the Memorial is dedicated to them as well.” 

On Saturday January 8th at 9:30 a.m. there will be a commemoration with the annual bell-ringing and remembrance ceremony adjacent to the permanent January 8th Memorial downtown.

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Rep. Kirkpatrick visits the January 8th Memorial, which celebrates the strength of the Tucson community.

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