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Daniel J. Benavidez
The UA is hosting a memorial service and vigil, both community-wide events, in remembrance of the tragic Jan. 8, 2011 shootings in Tucson.
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, along with other elected officials and dignitaries, is expected to attend a community-wide vigil at the University of Arizona on the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 8, 2011 shootings in Tucson.
Hosted by the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona and The University of Arizona Medical Center, the "Remembering Jan. 8 Candlelight Vigil" will honor the 19 people who were shot – six fatally.
The event will be held on the UA Mall, just east of Old Main, beginning at 6:30 p.m. For security purposes, attendees are encouraged to arrive after 4 p.m. and should not bring candles. Glow sticks will be provided at the vigil. University parking lots will be open, and metered parking will be available surrounding the campus.
Ron Barber, a survivor who later founded the Fund for Civility, Respect and Understanding, will emcee the event, and the Tucson Symphony Orchestra will perform.
“January 8, 2011, affected our community in a deep, personal way. We responded with kindness, generosity and support for the victims, their families and each other," Clint Mabie, the Community Foundation chief executive officer and president, said in a statement.
"The Community Foundation for Southern Arizona has been honored to help our community to continue to heal," Mabie added.
Vigil speakers will include Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild; Dr. Peter Rhee, chief of the Division of Trauma, Critical Care and Emergency Surgery at The University of Arizona Medical Center; and Mark Kelly, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' husband.
Earlier in the day, a memorial service will be held at the UA's Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd. Sponsored by the Fund for Civility, "Reflections: Honoring the Lives of the January 8 Shooting Victims" will be held 3-4:30 p.m.
During the event, speakers will reflect on the lives of the six people killed as well as the survivors and citizens who came immediately to their aid. Speakers will include Sen. Mark Udall, U.S. District Judge Raner Collins and Giffords' staffer Ron Barber.
Also, Arizona Public Media will present "Together We Heal," a special documentary with 36 in-depth interviews with victims, their families and others that is narrated by NBC national correspondent and UA alumna Savannah Guthrie.
The documentary, which focused on the grieving process and emotional healing in the year since the shootings, will air Jan. 5 at 8 p.m. and again Jan. 8 at 6 p.m.
For a full schedule of events memorializing Jan. 8, 2011, visit the Remembering Jan. 8 website.
Daniel J. Benavidez